May 2, 2012 — The Colorado Senate on Friday voted to reject a symbolic measure (SM 3) that urged federal lawmakers to pass a failed amendment that would have allowed insurers to deny contraception coverage for moral or religious reasons, the Aurora Sentinel reports (Moreno, Aurora Sentinel, 4/30).
The Blunt amendment -- which the U.S. Senate tabled in March -- would have allowed employers and health plans to deny coverage of any health services required to be covered under the health reform law (PL 111-148) for moral or religious reasons. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) had proposed the measure in response to the Obama administration's contraceptive coverage rules (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/1).
Friday's vote followed party lines, with Republicans arguing the measure was needed to protect religious freedom and Democrats saying it would restrict women's access to birth control (Aurora Sentinel, 4/30).
State Sen. Angela Giron (D) said, "We are suffering from a statewide and national campaign to make one set of religious beliefs the law for everyone." She added, "I for one am disturbed that religious freedom has become some cheap, political catchphrase and a divisive political tool to deny women basic health care" (Malone, Pueblo Chieftain, 4/28).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.