As you might have already heard, the U.S. Senate
is expected to vote Thursday on a
proposal by Sen. Roy Blunt
(R-Mo.) that would allow employers and health insurance providers to exclude any
coverage that they deem immoral or contrary to their religious beliefs. The measure,
S. 1813, would amend the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to
"… a health plan shall not be considered to
have failed to provide [Essential Health Benefits or Preventive Services]"
if it does not cover a service or benefit because "providing coverage… of
such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral
convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan."
passed, the Blunt amendment would effectively allow employers and health
insurance providers to impose their religious beliefs on employees and
recipients. This could leave millions of Americans – including our most
vulnerable citizens, such as babies and pregnant women – without essential and
preventative health coverage, simply because of their employer’s religiously
For example, the CEO of a
major corporation or the owner of a small business could revoke birth control
coverage, or deny maternity care to women, because of his or her religious
convictions regarding contraception and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Employers
and health care providers would also be able to reject coverage for a wide range
of vital services such as childhood immunizations, blood transfusions, mental
health care, and prenatal screening for life-threatening genetic disorders.
Sen. Blunt claims that his amendment would
further protect religious freedom. In reality, the amendment would strip
Americans of their right to make their own health decisions, and place them at the whim of someone else's religious beliefs. Contrary to Blunt’s assertion, current federal regulations that
require employers and health care providers to cover essential and preventative
coverage do not restrict the free exercise of religion and belief in any way.
No one is being forced to engage in health practices they find objectionable.
The regulations merely require that employers and health insurance companies that
provide secular services actually provide the full range of those services.
Contact your Senator today and tell him or her
to reject S. 1813 and protect the American people from religious control over
their health care decisions.
Reject the Blunt Amendment
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a friend of the Center for Inquiry, I am writing to you with concern over a proposal by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers and health insurance providers to exclude any coverage that they deem immoral or contrary to their religious beliefs.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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