GOP amendment would permit hospitals, docs, pharmacies to turn away inter-racial couples

Nice way to offend a large swath of the electorate right before an election.  From HuffPo:

“Let’s be clear about what’s at stake,” said [White House spokesman Jay] Carney. “The proposal being considered in the Senate applies to all employers — not just religious employers. And it isn’t limited to contraception. Any employer could restrict access to any service they say they object to. That is dangerous and it is wrong. Decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss.”

The measure, proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) would amend the Affordable Care Act to allow any employer to exclude any health service coverage, no matter how critical or basic, by claiming that it violates their religious or moral convictions. Moreover, according to the National Women’s Law Center, the amendment would remove critical non-discrimination protections from the Affordable Care Act. For instance, an insurer could deny maternity care coverage to a same-sex couple, an interracial couple or a single woman for religious or moral reasons.

So inter-racial couples are out. As are blacks, generally. And Mormons. And Catholics (the evangelicals consider them Satan-worshippers, seriously). Then there are rape victims. Not only can health care providers refuse to provide them with the morning after pill, but they could just refuse to serve them at all – after all, what was the woman wearing, had she been drinking, did she have a chaperone? For all we know, the hussie was asking for it.

Huff Post says that Democratic Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid has decided to allow a vote on the Blunt Amendment, in order to embarrass the hell out of the Republicans. Of course, Ben Nelson (D-NE) is supporting the Blunt amendment, because Nebraskans apparently don’t like saving the lives of people they don’t approve of (of course, now I don’t approve of Ben Nelson, so what does that mean the next time he needs emergency care?)

And once again we come down to the question of why these people want to be doctors, pharmacists, or ambulance drivers in the first place if they moral or religious qualms about the job?  It’s a bit like becoming a hooker and then complaining that you’re expected to have sex.  Or a cashier at a bakery complaining that she’s gluten-intolerant so she’s not going to sell bread, or cake, or any baked goods in the future.

As we noted two days ago, the Republicans and the Catholic bishops are wrong about how our democracy works.  And none other than arch-right Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is the one who proved them wrong (Jay Bookman at AJC, then quoting Scalia):

In fact, a century of American jurisprudence – including Antonin Scalia himself – prove that you can, and should.Scalia, himself a devout and very conservative Catholic, wrote in the majority decision:
“We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. On the contrary, the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition.”

Scalia traces Supreme Court rulings on the issue back to an 1879 decision that upheld federal laws against polygamy. A member of the Mormon Church had argued that because his faith required men to marry multiple wives, polygamy was protected under the First Amendment and that Mormons could claim a religious exemption from such a law.

So where did Republicans get this crazy notion that health care providers can conscientiously object from selling you, and providing you, life-saving health care? They’re making it up, as they always do, in order to create a right where it doesn’t exist. You might call them “activist legislators.” Trying to constantly spin lies into truth, spin nothing into something.

If Dems had a backbone they’d be running TV ads showing people getting turned away from the pharmacy, or the ambulance, because they’re black, white, female, Catholic and so own.  Then again, maybe Roy Blunt and the Republicans want people to be able to turn away inter-racial couples and Catholics.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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