Religious beliefs and contraception collided Friday in the Idaho House of Representatives, where a majority of lawmakers voted to send a message to the President and U.S. Congress to reject a new birth control policy.
The Obama Administration has been walking a tightrope on contraception these past few weeks. It started with a requirement that religious non-profits offer workers birth control free of charge. After a backlash, the Administration offered to exempt these groups and place the cost on their insurers.
Some Idaho lawmakers still want this policy reversed. Idaho Rep. Carlos Bilbao (R-Emmett) sponsored a joint memorial on the House floor today. A memorial is a formal opinion that’s non-binding. He says, "The federal government is telling private insurers what they must cover and that private individuals what they must pay for."
The Obama Administration will take public comment on this policy for three months before making a final decision. But Bilbao says the policy is about more than religion and contraception. "This is an American issue not a Catholic issue as freedom of conscience belongs not to just religious people but to every American."
Bilbao was the only person who spoke when the bill came up for debate. The memorial has already cleared the Idaho Senate. It now goes to the Governor’s desk.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio