U.S. Sen. David Vitter today made the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement of a "compromise" involving the requirement that religiously affiliated institutions must provide their employees with insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs:
"The Constitution doesn't pick winners and losers based on an individual's religious beliefs. The First Amendment unequivocally protects our right to make decisions based on those beliefs, a right the government must respect and defend.
"The so-called "compromise' isn't much of one at all. It's just more sleight-of-hand and sophistry by this administration. Under this latest plan, religious institutions would apparently still be required to contract with insurance companies that offer contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
"But this is ultimately about power -- an attempt to put big government over religious liberty, and left-wing ideology over the conscience rights of millions of Americans," said Vitter.
Last year, at the beginning of the current session of Congress, Vitter reintroduced his bill to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit taxpayer dollars in the form of family planning grants from being awarded to entities that perform abortions, a practice that allows other funds to be used for abortion practices.
Vitter also reintroduced the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act, a bill requiring any doctor who performs an abortion to have admitting privileges to a hospital located within an hour's travel time of the doctor's primary medical office.
Additionally, Vitter reintroduced his Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which would prevent federal, state and local governments from discriminating against all health care providers -- including hospitals, provider sponsored organizations, HMOs and health insurance plans -- on the basis of their refusal to perform, provide coverage of or pay for abortions.
Vitter has been a consistent advocate for the sanctity of human life in both the Senate and the House, earning a 100% pro-life voting record from the National Right to Life Committee.