Senator Casey Stirs Local Debate Over Contraception Vote

Senator Casey voted on the Senate floor today to proceed with a debate on an amendment offered by Senator Blunt that would have allowed any employer to deny contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds.

The Senator, who is up for re-election, has been active in health care issues by looking for ways for Americans to reconcile their moral and religious views with a desire to ensure that all Americans receive quality health care.

In 2009 and 2010, Casey orchestrated the compromise in the Senate that allowed Democratic pro-life Senators to vote for health care reform.

On today’s vote, Casey’s office said in a statement, “As I have made clear continuously, I strongly support contraceptives and have voted to provide funding for family planning but I also believe that religiously-affiliated institutions should not be forced by the government to violate their beliefs.  I appreciate the spirit of the Administration’s announcement on contraceptives and the attempt to satisfy concerns on both sides of this issue, but it does not go far enough to ensure that this ruling doesn’t infringe upon religious liberties. I am hopeful that the Administration now recognizes the imperative of clarifying the rule to ensure that it protects religious liberties while making contraceptive insurance available.”

Today’s vote on was on a motion to table. Rather than make Senators vote on the substance of the amendment, Majority Leader Reid decided to allow senators to vote on a procedural motion.

That did not stop one of Casey’s Republican opponents, Steve Welch from pouncing on the incumbent Senator. Welch said: “It’s nice to see that Bob Casey will occasionally vote the right way when he’s in his reelection year.  But when he’s not running for office, Casey voted for the ObamaCare bill that created this outrageous violation of religious freedom.  Pennsylvania deserves a senator who votes right for all six years, not a big government liberal like Bob Casey who is wrong for five years, then tries to make up for it in the sixth.”

Planned Parenthood PA also criticized Casey. They said in part, “The defeat of the Blunt amendment is an important victory, but we are immensely disappointed in Senator Casey’s vote.”

Senator Casey (and Toomey) did get support from the PA Pro-Life Federation. They said, “Senators Casey and Toomey should be commended for standing up for conscience rights by supporting the Blunt Amendment. It is clear the only way to prevent future abortion mandates under the Obama health care law is to repeal the law in its entirety.  We look forward to the support of Senators Casey and Toomey the next time that measure comes before the Senate.”

11 Responses

  1. I called Senator Casey’s office immediately after hearing he voted with the GOP on the Blunt amendment. I recieved his voice mail and did leave a message that I am a consituent, but will not support his re-election. Sorry Senator, there is in this country a separation of Church and State. Your explanation of your vote is simply “spin”. You have lost both my vote and that of my husband. You have just committed an assualt on all responsible families who plan their families. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  2. I was shocked and disappointed to learn of Senator Casey’s vote. What does it say that Senator Casey and (I believe) only one other Democrat voted for the amendment? To my mind, there is no combination of beliefs that warranted passing the Blunt amendment.

  3. For all you people hating on Casey for this vote, every one of his likely Republican challengers would have fought to be a cosponsor of this and tried to whip up votes.

    It’s definitely a bad/disappointing vote by Casey, but Dems shouldn’t hang him out to dry for making the same vote his GOP rivals would have made. You generally pick based on the votes that would be different.

  4. Senator Casey,
    Although I am not in your district so I look forward to supporting your opponent in the upcoming election. Your position on women’s rights is appalling and hiding behind your faith is worse. Jehovah Witnesses don’t believe in blood transfusions, will that be outlawed for all JW employers. You are mixing church and state and women’s rights are the bargaining chip, how terrible. Please reflect on that when you are in church this Sunday.

  5. I am a democrat and I teach in a Catholic high school and I will lose my health insurance because of this new Obamacare mandate. I have already received the letter from our Bishop telling us we are not going to have health insurance as of July 2013. Those of us who teach here know what kind of health insurance coverage we are getting when we get hired. We loved our Blue Cross! Too bad it will be all gone because of Obama, not really the bishop. Should have left well enough alone. Thanks for nothing, Senator Casey!

  6. I called and got an answer back. His office gave me the answer that he did it for “religous reason” and was on the side of Church. He made it clear that woman’s rights do not count. So to you, Mr. Casey, don’t count on the woman’s vote come next election. Time to support a woman for Senator to PA. Casey not only dumped on woman but the Democrats who voted him in. Maybe the GOP will let him sit next to them at Obama’s next Innaugural Address.

  7. Senator Casey seemed to buy the GOP talking point that this is about Religious Liberty. This is about hijacking religion to push ideological views of the conservative base. I fear Sen Casey is banking on the fact that liberals are terrified of republicans taking the Senate and will vote for him no matter what.

  8. what is he doing voting with the Gop ?? i know he is ultra-Catholic similar to Santorum, plus his father had huge influence as well. but, women’s health is the priority here. Mr. Senator you dropped the ball and kicked it across the field.

  9. I cannot believe that you voted to support the Blunt Amendment. You voted with the Republican Party instead of with women. TRULY CANNOT BELIEVE IT!

  10. I sent an e-mail to Casey and told home I would not vote for him in the nextt election.

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