DENVER – Congresswoman Diana DeGette, co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today issued the following statement regarding Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s support of the Blunt Amendment that would enable employers to opt out of providing insurance for health care provisions with which they may not morally agree. Yesterday, when Romney was first asked about the Blunt Amendment, he said he opposed it. Minutes later his campaign said he misunderstood the question and that he actually supported it.
The Blunt Amendment was attached to transportation legislation up for a vote in the U.S. Senate, and was defeated today by a vote of 51 to 48.
“Mitt Romney and the Blunt Amendment he supports would take away decisions critical to women’s health from women themselves and instead give it to their bosses. The Blunt Amendment would let any employer who has a problem with providing any type of health insurance coverage to deny their employees that coverage.
“It doesn’t just apply to contraceptive coverage, but to any aspect of health care an employer chooses. That means mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, maternity care, HIV/AIDS treatment – everything and anything is on the table. The Blunt Amendment is even more extreme than even what the US Catholic Bishops are calling for, and is opposed by several leading health care groups like the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Once again, by embracing extreme policies like the Blunt Amendment, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are trying to impose their will on women across the country, with real-life consequences for millions of women. Our health is a personal and private issue between us, our families and our doctors; not a political wedge issue to score points with the Republican base.
“But no one should’ve been surprised that Mitt Romney wants to give our bosses control over our health care decisions. He already said he would have supported an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution similar to the so-called “Personhood amendment” that defines life as beginning at the moment of conception. A “personhood amendment” would ban all abortions – even if a woman is a victim of rape or incest or if she would die otherwise. Personhood would outlaw many forms of birth control, including IUDs and morning-after pills.
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