GOP adds 'conscience clause' to spending bill
September 28th, 2013
07:13 PM ET
11 months ago

GOP adds 'conscience clause' to spending bill

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.

A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.

The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.


With this move, House Republican leaders would give any employer or group health plan the ability to opt out of contraception coverage for the next year. That time frame syncs up with the larger measure in which this is included: a one-year delay of Obamacare provisions not yet in effect.

“This is a big deal for the congressman,” Huelskamp’s spokesman, Paul Nelson, told CNN. “He has been pushing for (the conscience clause) since he entered Congress.”

Democrats say the measure is unnecessary because the administration has granted exemptions to contraceptive coverage to religious nonprofit institutions. But advocates, such as Huelskamp, insist that all institutions should be able to opt out of any preventative coverage for women that they find objectionable.

The addition of the “conscience clause” ties a heated social issue to the already sharp shutdown debate.

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. sheila kind

    Dumb, dumber, and dumbest! The GOP is writing its own death warrant. So be it.

    September 28, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. Virginiapicker

    This "conscience clause" puts the GOP in the exact same category as the Taliban – religious wing-nuts who hate women. America, reject these crazies who want to take away your freedom.

    September 28, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  3. Fred

    Why do contraceptives have to be part of medical coverage? For crying out loud can't people just buy them on their own?

    September 28, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. Joe

    Complete morons. Fighting against the poor and women is a common theme for the GOP. These complete imbeciles are doing everything possible to make sure we have a shut down and ruin the economy. The need to be charged flat out with treason. This is not a game folks they know what they are doing. Military families and seniors and crippled people should not go without because these idiots want to strong arm the government. Flat out treason. I have a senator and congressman from my backward hillbilly state involved in this. Indiana keeps sending these idiots to washington to run this country into the ground. I tell you this I will remember this at the next election and I will remind voters of this. I think next election I will take the day off and do a little protesting at the entrance of the polling spot in my town. This is more proof that the GOP isn't for soldiers they are for weapons manufacturers and contractors. Soldiers and their families are nuisances for these clowns. They are still mad we aren't sending kids into the meat grinder known as Iraq and they hate that Obama has reached out to Iran because that was the land of no bid contracts and a big oil giveaway. This is complete madness that we have to put up with this because some idiots in revolutionary war costumes that have no idea what they are talking about has found a way two hold 250 million people hostage to their 1 million person movement.

    September 28, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  5. Janis

    This is blatant discrimination against women. Women pay insurance premiums just the same as men, and women have those premiums are to cover their health costs. Just more proof that the republicans have a radical hate going on for women.

    September 29, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. Bubba

    I am shocked to discover that Republicans know what a conscience is.

    September 29, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. Albert Leo

    The Republican Party has turned into the Irresponsibility Party, new symbol: the dinosaur.

    September 29, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. Sean

    Really, politicians add a conscience clause; now that is irony.

    September 29, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. Nathan

    "would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds"

    And if they find something objectionable about MALE health care (like viagra)?

    September 29, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  10. Huelskamp isa terrorist

    If a foreign power or terror group threatened our government and economy like Huelskamp and his religious radical brethren this side of the isle would be intervening militarily.

    September 29, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  11. rainyinmichigan

    Wow, how classy! Instead of respecting the people and the Supreme Court, GOP are once again attacking women. They hate to see women have any kind of control over their lives, especially the poor. These are the same people who will then deny her prenatal care and health coverage for her sick child. American women don't need a bunch of older men passing laws just to terrotize us specifically. Keep your 'moral conscience' away from me!

    September 29, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  12. Ugh

    So as an employer, do I get to opt out of coverage for fertility treatments I find morally objectionable?

    September 29, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  13. 1byrd

    WHAT war on women????? Naaaa..... We're here to PROTECT you..... from yourself!(????) Contraceptive health is an integral part of a woman's quality of life. If one's religious views go against using contraceptive..... then don't damn use it. And yes, it is important for insurance to cover. It is not Uncle Sam dictating its use. But assuring equal access to the segments of society that most need, and can least afford? That's a "DUH" moment....

    September 29, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  14. gatodicima

    Are you SERIOUS!!?? The GOP is trying to make medical coverage into something that is defined by "conscience" issues...? This is absolutely absurd. So if you happen to "believe" that people shouldn't break their arms, the treatment you think they should get should be based on your "belief"...?

    What if I "believe" coverage should be based on a person's political party affiliation, huh? Huelskamp is a loony... If anything is "unAmerican," it's this kind of thinking.

    September 29, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  15. Name ann

    the republicans seem to me to be more interested in trying to make the american citizens believe they are the most powerful politicians in the usa when they should be behaving like reasonable governors. they remind me of rams in rut. the tea party people should start reading books written since 1100. the world has changed a lot since then.

    September 29, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  16. Pete

    This is for religious purposes and should not be included as we are not all Christians or Muslims. These two religions seem to want to push their agendas on all of us.

    September 29, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  17. gagged

    "The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. "

    whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    September 29, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  18. No one

    "objectionable on moral or religious grounds"
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"
    Shall we check the congressmen for treason?

    September 29, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. JimNamsium

    Can we get a conscience clause to opt out of paying taxes because our money is being used to pay these imbeciles?

    September 29, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  20. Terri Kash

    So, how about we have an option to opt out of blood transfusion coverage? Some people find that against their moral or religious beliefs. Sounds ridiculous, right? Or how about opting out of prostrate surgery and prevention coverage – 50% of us will never use that medical service.

    Republicans are creating more Democrats every day :-)

    September 29, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  21. weedouthate

    Advice to Congress: Weed Out Hate and Sow Seeds of Peace

    September 29, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  22. VicMorrow

    Obama's gift of our money to the insurance companies needs to be defeated any way we can. If that means embracing the bronze age death cultists, then so be it.

    September 29, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  23. Dave

    The GOP now is trying to play God! Can these hypocrites be anymore anal than they have been? We are seeing the influence of the faciast tea party trying to dictate a religious law no different than the radical Muslims. The tea party needs to be eliminated just like the jihadists!

    September 29, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  24. JT

    Republicans have just shown they have no conscience whatsoever. They don't care about the American public, they care only about their own agenda. The addition of the "conscience clause" should alert every woman in Americas that they need to vote against this band of zealots.

    September 29, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  25. reasonablebe

    right. and lets grant employers, hotels and restaurants exemptions from civil rights laws for moral and/or religious reasons....

    and grant an exemption from child abuse laws (switching or beating your childen, denying them medical care) if done based upon religious beliefs.

    September 29, 2013 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
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