Thank goodness that is over. The Blunt Amendment has been tabled by the Senate–the bill that Maya wrote about yesterday would allow your boss to decide what specific pieces of coverage and you and can’t have based on personal belief systems. This would not just be a threat to access to contraception (the most obvious benefit that would be denied by anti-choice religious types) but any service an employer deems contrary to their “moral” belief system.
You have to wonder why Republican Senators propose these bills that rarely see success. Well, it is not just because they believe that women are evil harlots that deserve to get pregnant when they have sex and should be left with no options except forced childbirth. It is also an attempt to own the conversation. By adding bizarre anti-choice “conscious” clauses to say a transportation bill–they are mainly seeking to shift public debate. If they push the public debate far to the right it not only ignites and mobilizes more radical anti-woman sentiments, it creates space for these ideas in the mainstream and it puts us in the defensive.
But not today. The ridiculousness of this bill became apparent as more people testified against it. Big shouts to Senator Barbara Boxer who said in response to the all male Issa hearing “Not one man suggested that men shouldn’t have their Viagra, but we’ll put that aside” and Sen. Pat Murray (who’s a Catholic btw) who noted that we are debating access to contraception on the first day of Women’s History Month and rightfully noted that “young women today are watching.” Damn straight.
Unfortunately, 51-48 is a very small margin to table a bill this unjust.