The Corner

I’m with Patty Murray

Well, okay, not really. But in a letter she and eleven other women senators sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner, she announces that: “Women have had enough.” And, well, I sure have. NRO sisters, are you with me?

“Specifically, we are asking that you abandon the promise you have made to bring legislation to the House floor similar to the Blunt amendment . . . which would turn the clock back on women’s access to health care,” the letter continues. And of course the Democratic women of the Senate lost me here. This rhetoric is exactly what I’ve had more than enough of.

There is nothing radical about the Blunt/Fortenberry legislation. There is nothing that turns back the clock. The bill would amend the new mandated benefits provisions in Title I of President Obama’s health-care law, protecting freedom of conscience as it was protected pre-Obamacare. The mandated benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have not actually gone into effect yet. So the whole turning-back-the-clock thing isn’t quite true.

Or as freshman senator Kelly Ayotte — also a woman in the Senate — put it on the Senate floor recently:

Unfortunately many have tried to characterize this amendment as denying women access to contraception. That’s a red herring, and it’s false. We are talking about government mandates that are interfering with conscience protections here that have long been engrained in our law. And just to be clear, women had access to these services before the president passed the Affordable Care Act, and after this amendment would be passed, we’d still have access to these important services.

Contrary to what some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have asserted, this measure simply allows health-care providers and companies to have the same conscience rights they had before the president’s health-care bill took effect.

We’re not breaking any new ground here.

In fact, we are respecting what is contained within the First Amendment to the Constitution and what has long been a bipartisan effort to respect the conscience rights of all Americans, whatever their religious views are.

This vote goes to the heart of who we are.

There has been talk this week — even dismay expressed — that perhaps the House is moving too slowly on Jeff Fortenberry’s bill or other conscience language. And now, the liberal Democratic women of the Senate have made a show to warn John Boehner that the “war on women” placards are ready if he doesn’t reconsider taking action in defense of conscience rights. He doesn’t plan to reconsider, by the way. A spokesman for the speaker responded to the letter yesterday saying: “House Republicans have passed nearly 30 jobs bills, which will help American men and women alike. They are now awaiting action in the Democrat-controlled United States Senate. We will also continue to work to protect every American’s freedom of religion from the President’s health care law.”

You might thank and encourage Boehner and Fortenberry, Blunt, and any congressman or senator who represents you who has voiced his support — or now voted for — the Blunt/Fortenberry conscience-protection legislation.

Don’t be dismayed and don’t buy the pile-on. Fight back with information to counter the misinformation.

Women, and men with women in your lives, counter the women of the Senate and their talking points by sharing — over e-mail, over Facebook, with handouts at Church — any of these links just from the past 24 hours or so:

Pray for the Mandate Yuval Levin

The ‘Accommodation’ That Isn’t James Capretta

Obama’s Contraception Spin Machine, George Weigel

The Contraceptive Mandate and the Indignity of the Law, Q&A with Grace-Marie Turner

No More Contrived Victims, Ed Whelan

Birth-Control Agitprop, Jonah Goldberg

The Devil & Daniel Brenner Mario Loyola

There’s more and will be more. But that’s a start. Fight back if you’ve had enough of the insults to our intelligence. 

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