The Senate voted 51-48 Thursday to kill a controversial amendment to weaken the Obama administration’s policy requiring employers to provide birth control to their employees. The Senate voted to table the measure from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), which would have let any employers opt out of health coverage mandates that violate their religious or moral beliefs.
Three Democrats voted with Republicans [against] tabling the amendment: Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). Casey and Manchin are both up for reelection in 2012. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who announced Tuesday she would retire at the end of the Senate term, was the only Republican to vote in favor of tabling the amendment.
The only non-voting Senator was Illinois' Mark Kirk, a Republican, who is recovering from a stroke. His office says Kirk would have supported Blunt's effort to protect religious liberties. Democrats will crow about this outcome, pretending that they've somehow staved off a non-existent Republican effort to "ban" contraception. Blunt's measure would have done no such thing, of course, but facts are not important to Harry Reid's majority. They've squelched a provision that even their late colleague Ted Kennedy would have supported. But remember, ladies and gentlemen, it's the Republicans who have bolted to the extreme end of the ideological spectrum. As long as these derelict, anti-Constitution Democrats maintain their Senate majority, these outrages will remain commonplace. November is coming. I hope voters in places like Montana and Missouri (faux-moderate Democrats Tester and McCaskill both sided with Obama and Sebelius over the First Amendment today) are prepared for the battle ahead.
UPDATE - Former Boston Mayor and Democrat Ray Flynn blasts his party for its anti-religious liberty stand and commends Sen. Scott Brown for his vote:
Ray Flynn, the former Democratic mayor of Boston, is applauding Republican US Senator Scott Brown for supporting a “conscience exemption” from President Obama’s policy on birth control coverage. “I find it outrageous that anyone in a position of public trust would trample on the conscience of people of religious beliefs,” Flynn, a former US ambassador to the Vatican, said in a letter to Brown today. Flynn praised Brown’s “steadfast leadership” and said, “I intend to tell anyone who will listen how you stood tall in protecting the human and civil rights of everyone.”
Meanwhile, Americans United for Life has released a video explaining why, despite Democrats' lies, this issue has nothing to do with a "war" on birth control. Nobody is trying to ban contraception. What we object to is the government forcing everyone to pay for other people's birth control, especially religious institutions. This is a massive government project, it will increase the cost of healthcare, it diminishes the value of individual responsibility, and it violates the Constitution:
Especially trenchant is the quote from Jefferson, whose words agressive secularists often use to justify their ahistorical conception of the separation of church and state:
"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority."
Notice he says "dear to man." War on women! For what it's worth, to pull the rug out from under Democrats' deeply dishonest "contraception ban" narrative, Mitt Romney got it right during his response to former Democrat strategist George Stephanopolous' strange (at the time) questions on the matter. Skip ahead to the 1:20 mark of this video:
"Contraception? It's working just fine. Just leave it alone." That's the Republican position. Democrats favor government intrusion on the issue.
UPDATE II - More absolutely shameless lies from Democrats, this time from Team Obama.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography