Sen. Manchin will vote for Blunt amendment on contraceptive care

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will vote for Sen. Roy Blunt's (R-Mo.) amendment on the Obama administration's contraception mandate.

"While I would have preferred that both sides would have come together around a solution like we had in West Virginia, I am voting in favor of this measure to protect the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America," Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin also notes that in his home state, West Virginia law requires contraceptive coverage but also guarantees "religious freedom for employers or institutions that object to such services." The law requires health insurance companies to also provide contraceptive care but exempts religious institutions that object based on "religious tenets."

Manchin's announcement comes as Democrats and Republicans clash over an amendment by Blunt that would allow insurance companies and employers of certain religious institutions to opt out of the Obama administration's law requiring insurance provers make available contraceptive care to employees without a co-pay.

The administration originally required the institutions to provide contraceptive care, but after strong criticism from religious organizations and Republicans, it altered the rule so that the organizations themselves would not be forced to provide the coverage.

The Senate will vote on Blunt's amendment Thursday.