Foes of the Blunt amendment -- including Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood Federation of America -- applauded the Senate's action.
The vote is "an important victory for covering contraceptives just like other preventive health care," said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood's president.
Americans United asserted the amendment was too broad and would have harmed religious liberty and public health.
Under the Blunt amendment, no plan would have been considered to have failed the requirements of the health care law if it declined to provide coverage because:
"roviding coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or
"uch coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage."
Land urged 20 senators, including 11 Democrats, in a Feb. 28 letter to back the Blunt amendment. They were chosen because they had not yet officially joined the list of cosponsors or were considered open to an appeal. Nine of the 20 voted against tabling the amendment. Another, Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois, was the only senator not to vote.
Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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