Sen. Schumer: Blunt amendment amounts to contraception ban

“For millions of women whose boss may have a religious objection, this would amount to a contraception ban," Schumer said. “[L]et’s admit what this debate is really and what Republicans really want to take away from American women. It is contraception."

Sen. Roy Blunt's (R-Mo.) Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, to which Schumer was referring, would exclude employers or insurance companies from providing any service that violates their religious beliefs.

Blunt offered the legislation in the form of an amendment to the highway bill in response to the Obama administration's ruling that employers must provide healthcare coverage that includes contraception even if they are morally opposed to it. The amendment is expected to see a vote on the Senate floor as soon as Thursday. 

Blunt responded to Schumer’s charge on Wednesday, telling The Hill in a statement that his amendment is not designed to target contraception.

“This debate is not about not about a particular service, group, or set of beliefs — and these blatant attempts to frighten and mislead Americans about this bipartisan bill are simply shameful,” he wrote. “[I]t simply preserves and protects the fundamental religious freedom that Americans have enjoyed for more than 220 years.”