Tomorrow the Senate is expected to vote on the Blunt-Nelson Conscience Protection Amendment, a bipartisan measure that would protect religious institutions from the HHS contraceptive mandate. The amendment reads:
Nothing in this title (or any amendment made by this title) shall be construed to require an individual or institutional health care provider, or authorize a health plan to require a provider, to provide, participate in, or refer for a specific item or service contrary to the provider’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The language would also protect religious employers from being coerced into providing abortion coverage. Democrats who support the president’s mandate are likely to paint Blunt-Nelson as a ban on contraception, which it manifestly is not. It is also worth noting that Hillarycare, that notorious piece of theocratic legislation from the 1990s, contained a similar religious exemption (hat tip: John McCormack).