Update: Senate Votes Against Religious Freedom Under Health Care

By Richard Land
Mar 1, 2012

Dear Friends:

Today, the Senate had the opportunity to uphold freedom of religion and conscience on matters like abortion under health care. Sadly, a majority of senators defeated that effort.

In an extremely disappointing vote, 51 senators voted to table—or effectively kill—a proposal that would safeguard employers and individuals from being forced to violate their religious and moral convictions on such things as contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Only 48 senators voted in support of advancing Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011, offered as an amendment to a transportation bill.

To see how your senators voted, please click here.

The Senate’s decision to kill the Blunt Amendment is an outrage. If the government can tell its citizens that their First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom and conscience is subject to its dictates, then the First Amendment offers no protection to people of faith.

Make no mistake, the Senate vote was not about contraception but about the right of people of faith to be able to live out the values of their faith free from government coercion. This insensitive response to our pleas to the Senate to protect religious freedom from government coercion cannot go unchallenged.

We will continue to press this battle for freedom to the very end. We hope you will continue to stand with us in this must-win struggle against government tyranny.

In His Service,

Dr. Richard Land
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention

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