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Activists Furious After Contraception Vote [VIDEO]

NH House votes to allow employers to exempt contraception coverage based on religious objections.

A bill which would allow employers an exemption to pay for health insurance coverage for birth control if they have a religious objection was approved in the New Hampshire House by a vote of 196 to 150.

The vote was held on March 7, while gathered for hours at the Statehouse urging a "No" vote on a number of bills that they say will threaten the health, safety, and privacy of women.

About an hour before the vote, activists began to gather at the Statehouse for a rally.

Susan Arnold, the president of the board of kicked off the rally saying she was excited to see so many people at the Statehouse, organized to talk to their representatives.

“This is outrageous,” she said. “We need to do something … today is our day.”

But the rally was abruptly stopped when advocates realized that a vote was coming up on HB 1546. The crowd quickly filed into the gallery and in the halls waiting for the vote. A number of parliamentary moves ensued, including requests for amendments and roll call votes.

Comments both for and against the bill seemed to come down political party lines.

State Rep. , R-Derry, rose in favor of the bill saying any law or mandate by the government require specific coverage like birth control was unconstitutional and was not about the choice of purchasing birth control.

“In the case of birth control or sterilization, an employee working for a religious organization may have to pay for these things out of pocket,” he said, adding that if birth control pills were prescribed for medical reasons, they would likely be covered.

State Rep. Stephen DeStefano, D-Bow, spoke against the bill and said that the recent sermon at Sacred Heart, the church he and his wife attend, was about hypocrisy and he found it telling after seeing what was going on in the House.

“We can’t wrap ourselves the Bible and religion when we need it,” he said. “If we’re going to wrap ourselves around it, when we need to wrap it all the time. This is not about religion. It’s about health insurance for everybody, on a community basis.”

After DeStefano spoke, cheers went up in the gallery prompting Speaker to call for order while threatening to clear the gallery if people weren’t quiet. Activists in the gallery then resorted to emoting their feelings through hand motions, a process often seen at Green Party and gatherings. When the activists were happy, they held their hands in the air and wiggled their fingers; at the end, after the vote, many stood up and silently held their thumbs down and hissed more.

In the hall, a number of people who were in the gallery began to make their way down the stairs while some of their counterparts held signs and yelled “Shame!” “We’ll remember in November” and “You’re the Taliban – we’re going to send you back to Afghanistan!” as representatives began to exit the hall.

The bill now goes to the state Senate. 

Paul Mercury March 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Only 42% of women who use birth control do so exclusively to prevent conception. So to hell with the other 58%?
The Shill March 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM
When you have an organization known to harbor pedophiles you have to wonder what their motivation is to get people to have more children. The Catholic Church is one of the most morally bankrupt organizations in the world they need to get their own house in order before they start telling others what they should be doing.
Mary March 11, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Shill, the story of Mary and her Immaculate Conception is beautifully symbolic in the sense that she was pure of spirit, of mind and of intention and Jesus was a child conceived out of pure love. You're sitting there clearly, taking pleasure in your blasphemous ways and I hate to tell you, it isn't scoring you any spiritual points. When you have a mass movement of women like yourself who are clearly only thinking of the cynicism, who are only thinking of your own desires in all of this and who only see the negative, it can't possibly be healthy on a level of collective awareness. You can't possibly believe that your distrurbing reasoning is the motivating factor to all of this, do you? I'm not saying that what has transpired in the past in the Catholic churches is ok, what I am saying is that this decision has nothing to do with that. Practice your sense of "strength" in proving to yourself at least that your health is important to you, that what is important amongst all of this is that women protect their bodies, to make priorities out of things more important than just thinking about how to prevent pregnancy so they can have sex galore without a thought. Condoms are also a very reliable option, wouldn't you agree? why opt for invasive contraception? Laziness, lack of self control? Victims of mental slavery to pharmaceutical endeavours? Are you just talkin' because you have nothing better to do?Who are you trying to defend and what is the moral of your opinion, really?
The Shill March 11, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Mary I hate to tell you this but the Catholic church says that any form of conception including condoms are a sin. Where in the collection of myths that you call the Bible does it say that birth control is against any of the 613 Commandments in the Bible. the church justs make it up as they go along to control the masses and keep the flow of money comming in. Open your mind and think for yourself and don't let some man in a tall hat in rome brinwash you into thinking you will go to hell if you don't do what he says.
ForThePeople March 11, 2012 at 03:46 AM
What do you mean by "evolved" species? If you are touting the bible, do you mind pointing out the passage describing evolution? Or are you only picking the pages that you like? May I recommend "Religulous" by Bill Maher?

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