Sen. Susan Collins’s (R-ME) spokesman emails TPM this response regarding her prior support for legislation that included a birth control coverage requirement:
Senator Collins is an original cosponsor of Senator Rubio’s bill because she disagrees with the Administration’s decision. She believes it presents the Catholic church, and other faith-based organizations, with an impossible choice between violating their religious beliefs or complying with federal regulations. Senator Collins believes, in issuing these regulations, the Administration has chosen to ignore thousands of comments that were submitted expressing concern that the proposed narrow religious exemption is insensitive and a direct affront to the conscience and beliefs of many religious people and organizations.
It’s important to note that Senator Snowe’s bill was a mandate on insurance companies, not employers.
And, Senator Snowe always said that she intended to work with religious groups to include a conscience clause.