House GOP Adds ‘Conscience Clause’ To Stopgap Bill, An Opt-Out For Contraceptive Coverage

Budget Battle

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

The budget bill coming out of the House will now include a Conscience Clause, which is an opt-out for employers and insurers to exclude coverage of contraceptives they find morally objectionable.  This would be good news for those, like Hobby Lobby who has brought a lawsuit before the Supreme Court on just this issue.  It would, also, be good news for the protection of our 1st Amendment!

According to CNN,

Washington (CNN) – House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.

A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.

The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.

With this move, House Republican leaders would give any employer or group health plan the ability to opt out of contraception coverage for the next year. That time frame syncs up with the larger measure in which this is included: a one-year delay of Obamacare provisions not yet in effect.

“This is a big deal for the congressman,” Huelskamp’s spokesman, Paul Nelson, told CNN. “He has been pushing for (the conscience clause) since he entered Congress.”

Democrats say the measure is unnecessary because the administration has granted exemptions to contraceptive coverage to religious nonprofit institutions. But advocates, such as Huelskamp, insist that all institutions should be able to opt out of any preventative coverage for women that they find objectionable.

The addition of the “conscience clause” ties a heated social issue to the already sharp shutdown debate.

Reminder to the Libs:  Women can still have their contraceptives.  They would just have to pay the $9 a month, themselves.

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