Schumer Dubs Blunt Amendment A ‘Contraception Ban’

A Senate vote Thursday on the Blunt Amendment could solidify the culture war over contraception in this election year. And Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), the Democrats’ top message man, just offered a glimpse of how his party intends to frame the issue.

Some excerpts from Schumer’s floor speech today:

There’s no good answer about where the other side is going with this issue—except, perhaps, back to the 19th century.

This whole debate is an anachronism. Our country progressed beyond the issue of whether or not to allow birth control a long time ago. Yet here we are in 2012, and the Republican Party suddenly wants to turn back the clock and take away contraception from women. …

This measure would force women to surrender control of their own health decisions to their bosses. …

So let’s admit what this debate is really and what Republicans really want to take away from millions of American women. It is contraception.

We should instead call this amendment for what it really is: for millions of women whose boss may have a personal objection, it is a contraception ban.

Republicans are working hard to make the issue about religious freedom, not contraception. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), whose amendment permits any employer to deny a service in their health care plan if they deem it morally objectionable, wrote an op-ed ths weekend offering a preview of how Republicans plan to debate this issue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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