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Murray bill to empower DHHS abortion mandates

07/16/2014
Senate Roll Call No. 228
113rd Congress, 2nd Session

Rejected: 56-43 (see complete tally)
A provision of the 2010 Obama health care law empowered the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to require that most employers cover, in their employee health plans, anything that DHHS puts on a list of "preventive services."  The Obama Administration used this authority to require coverage of certain drugs and procedures that violate the religious beliefs of some employers.  In its June, 2014 ruling in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that this mandate violated statutory religious-freedom rights of some employers.  In response to this ruling, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa.) introduced S. 2578, a bill to establish that DHHS has authority to mandate any "preventive services" it chooses, "notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law."  This would further empower the Administration to mandate coverage of abortion pills such as RU-486, surgical abortion (including late abortions), assisted suicide, or anything else it chooses to classify as “preventive services,” overriding all existing federal laws that protect religious freedom and conscience rights.  NRLC strongly opposed S. 2578.  On July 16, 2014, the Senate conducted a key procedural roll call on the Murray bill, with 60 votes being required to "invoke cloture" and take up the bill.  The roll call was 56 in favor of taking the bill up (pro-abortion) and 43 opposed (pro-life).  All present Democrats voted in favor of taking up the bill, except Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nv.), who favored the bill but voted "no" only to preserve the right to force another vote at a later date.  All Republicans voted against taking up the bill, except Senators Susan Collins (Me.), Mark Kirk (Il.), and Lisa Murkowski (Ak.).  Roll call no. 228.


Vote Map: Senate Roll Call No. 228
Votes For : 56
Votes Against : 43
Not Voting : 1

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