When President Obama's health care legislation ("ObamaCare") was under consideration in the Senate in 2009, NRLC warned
that a provision dealing with “preventive health services” would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate that most health plans cover any medical service, including abortion, merely by adding the service to an expandable list. Unfortunately, the ObamaCare law was enacted in 2010, containing the "preventive services" provision and many other objectionable provisions. The Administration issued a decree in August, 2011, mandating coverage of all FDA-approved birth control methods – a move that engendered vigorous protests from many religious bodies. NRLC again warned that the Administration could employ the same legal authority to issue a future mandate that would require most health plans to cover all abortions. An NRLC-endorsed bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467), would go to the heart of the problem by amending the ObamaCare law itself to allow employers and insurers to decline to cover "items or services" to which they have a religious or moral objection, as long as other anti-discrimination laws are observed. In February, 2012, pro-life Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) offered S. 1467 in the form of an amendment to a pending highway bill. On March 1, 2012, the Senate tabled (killed) the Blunt Amendment, by a vote of 51 to 48 (Senate Roll Call No. 24). Fifty Democrats and one Republican voted to kill the pro-life amendment. Forty-five Republicans and three Democrats voted to advance the amendment.