Wednesday, February 29, 2012

John Conyers defends contraception mandate

John Conyers defends contraception mandate

The video is of the hearing has a bad reflector link but you can read the testimony.  I am working to upgrade Judiciary information access and hope to have streaming soon.

At a House hearing today, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, strongly defended the contraception mandate from the Obama administration that has been under fierce attack from conservative Christians.

Saying that access to contraception helps women’s health, Conyers said the birth control mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services “is not just good law but good science.”

Conyers gave several examples of how access to birth control prevents health problems, saying that: “Over 200,000 cases of ovarian cancer and 100,000 deaths were prevented because of the health benefits of contraception.”

Conyers also said that: “Over 10% of infant deaths could be prevented if pregnancies were planned and if women had better access to family planning.”

The hearing today was held by the House Judiciary Committee and titled: “Executive Overreach: The HHS (Health and Human Services) Mandate Versus Religious Liberty.”

Released in January, the federal mandate drew criticism because it required religiously-affiliated institutions like Catholic hospitals and universities to include contraception coverage for its employees. It gave churches an exemption. The Catholic Church teaches that using contraception is morally wrong.

After the outcry, Obama announced a compromise this month that asks insurance companies, not the institutions themselves, to provide contraception coverage.

Conyers called Obama’s compromise "a Solomonic solution to a difficult problem. It balances competing rights in a respectful manner.”

Some conservatives feel differently, saying the compromise is still an attack on religious freedom.

Last week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette joined a lawsuit with other states against the Obama administration over the contraception mandate.

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