Another predictable demand has been added to the GOP’s ransom note:
House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.
A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.
The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.
Like Atrios, I’m so old I remember when the hot proposition among centrist pundits was a “Grand Bargain” in which pro-choicers would agree that abortion was gross and should be made arbitrarily less accessible to poor women in exchange for greater access to contraception. In addition to the first part being a terrible idea, the crucial flaw in the plan has always been that most actually existing American anti-choicers care about regulating female sexuality, not protecting fetal life. You can’t get anything by trading someone something they don’t want and greater access to contraception for women is emphatically something most American proponents of criminalizing abortion don’t want.
And don’t call it a “conscience clause.” It’s a “denial of healthcare people are legally entitled to” clause and an “imposing one’s religious beliefs on others” clause.