Amid the ongoing budget battle and before the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted once again to block funding for Obamacare overnight, the House Rules Committee slipped in a new provision to their stopgap proposal that would give U.S. employers permission to "opt out" of providing preventative care to their female employees, including contraceptives.
Despite the futility of the gesture much less the ridiculousness of its context—the House approved the bill, along party lines, knowing full well it will never pass in the Senate and therefore assuring a government shutdown this week—the move was slammed by women advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers.
"Once again House Republicans have found a way to mount an ideological attack on women's health as the clock ticks down on a crisis they created," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement Saturday night. "This is part of the right-wing playbook that's going nowhere in the Senate. The truly unconscionable thing is that Republicans would try to rob women of access to health care while holding our economy hostage."
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According to the Huffington Post, Planned Parenthood's executive vice president Dawn Laguens called the move "desperate, misguided, and extreme."
"The country wants Congress to focus on jobs and the economy, not on pushing an extreme agenda against birth control," Laguens continued.