Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) called today’s vote to table the Blunt Amendment to S. 1813, the Highway Bill, a vote to protect women and health care access for all Americans.
“The outright assault on women’s rights and women’s access to essential preventive services has got to stop. I have spent my lifetime defending the First Amendment and all it provides and protects, but the Blunt Amendment is not about First Amendment freedoms; it’s about creating an escape clause for any employer to deny potentially life-saving health coverage to women, as well as children and men. If someone has a religious objection to certain services, then he or she does not have to use them.
“Nowhere in the Affordable Care Act does it stipulate that any American must take advantage of expanded preventive health services. We are not trying to tell anyone what they have to do. Women are not required to use contraception or get well-baby visits, just as men are not required to have cancer screenings. The law only requires that every American have access to these services so that they can decide for themselves, with the advice of their doctor, whether or not they are appropriate and healthy to utilize. The Blunt Amendment would have denied individuals the right to make that choice. Now that it has been defeated, I hope that we can turn to the urgent business of our nation rather than not-so-subtle efforts to attack women’s rights and weaken America’s health care system.”