Senate Blocks Birth Control Mandate Repeal
The Senate defeated a Republican measure Thursday aimed at rolling back President Obama's birth control policy in a 51-48 vote.
"The vote today should be a clear message that if we take extreme positions from the social agenda we hear so often in these Republican primaries and bring them to the Senate floor, common sense and the majority feeling in America will prevail," one Democratic Senator told reporters after the vote.
The legislation would allow employers and insurers to opt out of requirements in the president's health care law if they object on moral or religious grounds.
"The word 'contraception' is not in (the legislation) because it's not about a specific procedure," the bill's sponsor, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said before the vote. "It's about a faith principle that the First Amendment guarantees."
Meanwhile, Democrats viewed the matter differently.
"When the other side tries so hard to claim this debate isn't (about) contraception, that's how you know this debate is precisely about contraception," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.