U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the following statement today after a USA Today story today revealed the extent to which opponents of women's access to the full range of preventive health services, including contraception want a "religious exemption" to go. Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argued any business or corporation owned by Catholics should be excluded when he cited the problem that would be created for, "good Catholic business people who can't in good conscience cooperate with this." He went as far to say, "If I quit this job and opened a Taco Bell, I'd be covered by the mandate."
"I am dumbfounded that in the year 2012 we still have to fight over birth control. It is sad that we have to stand here yet again to fight back against another overreach and intrusion into women's lives.
"This is what it is -- a political overreach to roll back access to birth control -- not a religious issue. The fact they want to exempt all businesses from providing contraceptive care is just outrageous.
"The power to decide whether or not each individual woman uses contraception should be with that woman -- not her boss. We will not stand for these attempts to undermine the ability of women to make their own decisions.
"If my Republican colleagues want to continue to take this issue head on, we stand ready to oppose any attacks launched against women's rights and women's health."