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Blunt Amendment Dead In Senate, Political Jockeying Alive And Well

(Mark Sardella/flickr)

The so-called Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to opt out of health care coverage they found objectionable — i.e., birth control for women — was voted down in the Senate 51-48, The New York Times reports.

But U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s support for the amendment has become grist for the political mill, with flying press releases, outraged advocates and chest-thumping about religious freedom and morality all around. Here’s a sample of reaction we’ve received:

Planned Parenthood reacted swiftly with this:

Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) expressed disappointment over Senator Scott Brown’s vote today for the overreaching Blunt Amendment that seeks to deny individuals access to essential health care. This measure would allow any employer or health plan to deny any health care service they find objectionable. It takes refusal for basic health care well beyond birth control – an employer could deny access to in-vitro fertilization, HIV/AIDS treatment, and other essential health care services.

“The reality is that the Blunt Amendment undermines fundamental tenets of the Affordable Care Act and the integrity of our nation’s health care system,” said Dianne Luby, President/CEO of PPLM. “We’re very disappointed that Senator Brown supported this attack on basic health care access. Then again, he did campaign in 2010 on promises to be the critical vote to defeat health care reform.”

Scott Brown’s office released this:

U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) issued the following statement after voting for the Blunt Amendment to protect religious freedom and allow a conscience exemption in health care for people of faith: Continue reading