At a press conference on Capitol Hill, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi explained her support for the Obama administration’s decision to require religious institutions to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception.
“I know that the records show that 90 percent of Catholic women of childbearing age use birth control,” Pelosi said to reporters on Thursday. ”So this is a women’s health issue.”
“It’s a matter of conscience for each woman, her doctor, her husband, her family, and her God to make their own decisions. And as a Catholic, I support the right of a woman to make that decision.”
Meanwhile in the Senate, Missouri Republican Roy Blunt proposed an amendment to the Senate transportation bill that would give employers the option to not purchase health insurance plans that cover contraception. The amendment was voted down in the Senate Thursday afternoon.
“In the state of Nevada, we have almost 200,000 women who if this passed would lose access to contraception coverage and other health services that are so essential to their health so we’re talking about real people, millions of people,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who voted against Blunt’s amendment.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner supported the amendment, calling it a “religious liberty” issue.
“I’ve been trying to take this out of the political realm and get it into a position where we can continue to protect the American people’s right to their own religious views,” said Boehner at the Capitol Thursday.
“There are a lot of ways to do that. There’s — you know, there’s one over in the Senate. We’ve got a couple of ideas in the House. But it’s a matter of how do we proceed.”
He continued: “It’s important that we continue to protect the religious beliefs of the American people from their government, and their government encroaching in this arena has not happened in 220 years, and it should not happen in this case.”