Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Catholic Education Daily

 

Senate Kills Religious Liberty Bill

The Senate voted today against the Blunt amendment that would have restored conscience exemptions for employers who believe that being forced to pay for birth control or abortifacients in their employee health plans is a violation of their religious liberty. Tha Cardinal Newman Society, along with many leading Catholic institutions and pro-life organizations has worked to stop the HHS contraceptive mandate from taking effect. But Democrats quashed the bill by voting by a 51 to 48 margin to table the motion. Democrats Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska were three Democrats who crossed sides and voted with the majority of Republicans to support the amendment, according to LifeNews.com.  And the report indicated that retiring Republican Senator from Maine, Olympia Snowe, voted against the amendment. While the defeat of the amendment is a defeat for religious institutions, this issue is far from over. Already the subject of multiple congressional hearings, it will likely be at the heart of further legislation. Several presidential candidates have spoken often of remedying this infringement of religious liberty should they win the election. And this issue is also the subject of multiple lawsuits from several Catholic colleges including those filed by two faithfully Catholic colleges, Belmont Abbey College and Ave Maria University.

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