The Senate voted to table an amendment that would permit an employer to deny contraception coverage to their employees on Thursday morning, but the debate over birth control raged into the afternoon, as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Just moments after Senators defeated the so-called Blunt Amendment, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) accused Sebelius of lying about the administration's rule requiring employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans and falsely insisted that religious organizations would be required to provide "abortifacient" drugs:
SEBELIUS: There also is no abortifacient drug that is part of the FDA approved contraception. What the rule for preventive care…
MURPHY: Ma'm that is not true…Is the morning after pill or something like that an abortifacient drug?
SEBELIUS: It is a contraceptive drug, not an abortifacient… It does not interfere with a pregnancy. If the morning pill were taken, and a female were pregnant, the pregnancy is not interrupted. That's the definition of abortifation.
MURPHY: Ma'm that is your interpretation, and I appreciate that's your interpretation.
SEBELIUS: That's what the scientists and doctors…
MURPHY: We're not talking about scientists. Ma'm we're not talking about scientists here, we're talking about religious belief. Ma'm, I'm asking you about a religious belief. In a religious belief, that is a violation of a religious belief.
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