Pennsylvania Senators Toomey, Casey Agree: Birth Control is Bad and Should be Denied

bob casey sucksToday, the Blunt Amendment—introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, which would exempt any employer with moral objections from covering birth control in their health care plans—was shot down in the Senate, by a 51-48 vote. Considering this is the year 2012, AD, that vote probably sounds a bit too close for comfort. And if it does, blame yourself. Your U.S. Senate representation made it that way.

Pennsylvania’s Senatorial duo, Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) voted in favor of the Blunt Amendment and therefore, we conclude, support the greater conservative War on Women. Which is fine. War can’t proceed without two sides!

Sen. Toomey took to Twitter shortly after the vote and wrote, “I voted to protect our constitutional right of conscience today.” The Tweet included a link to a press release on Toomey’s website, in which he stated:

“Despite President Obama’s so-called accommodation, I am extremely concerned that this regulation would force religious employers to violate their religious beliefs in order to keep their doors open…Sen. Blunt’s bipartisan amendment alleviates this problem and upholds one’s constitutional right of conscience.”

And Sen. Bob Casey? He tried to defend himself, too. But not on Twitter, and not on his website, and it made less sense. “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,” he said, not noting Obama’s compromise from a few weeks back got rid of that particular provision. “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.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called the Blunt Amendment “anti-woman” and “radical.”

Twitter is a bit abuzz about Casey’s vote. One user says Casey “needs a Democratic female challenger.” (Not possible at this point.) Another writes: “Interesting thing about Bob Casey being one of the Dems to vote for Blunt Amendment: He’s the senator who beat Santorum in ‘06.” (That is interesting.) Another: “Senator Bob Casey, you are a joke.” (He is!)

As Casey’s mentioned in the past, while he may be anti-choice, he’s not a monster: he’s in favor of contraception and based his Title X votes around that single issue. As of last night, he said he wasn’t sure where his vote on the Blunt Amendment would be. But now that he’s figured out his stance, he’s got the blessing of both Life News and his potential Republican challenger, Steve Welch, who wrote earlier, “Today, Sen. Bob Casey took Welch’s advice and voted for repeal of the mandate.”

While this has become a controversial issue stemming from the Catholic Church (and included Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput) many Democrats have stood their ground on the matter, and polls show the majority of Americans agree with them. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon made the point that if employers can deny birth control coverage based on their “conscious,” what else could they deny? “The Blunt amendment would allow a C.E.O. to say, ‘We are not going to cover end-of-life care’ because of a conviction that such care is interfering with God’s will. It would allow employers to deny access to obesity programs because they believe that obesity results from a moral failing,” he told the New York Times.

On the other hand, yesterday radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed a woman who was set to testify on behalf of birth control coverage is a “slut” and “prostitute.” Perhaps Sen. Casey agrees with this assessment? It’s hard to tell, but they’re at least on the same side.

In Casey’s defense, this is par for the course with him: Vote whichever way the wind is blowing, or at least the way the ever-present Pennsylvania Swing Vote sends its balloons. Lastly, and to defend him further, we’re not going to call Casey a flip-flopper. That would assume he once held a position.

10 Responses to “ Pennsylvania Senators Toomey, Casey Agree: Birth Control is Bad and Should be Denied ”

  1. Jon Geeting says:

    I see a few people saying this is about reelection and swing voters, but I would disagree. Casey’s opponents are clowns, and unknown clowns at that. There is no chance of him being unseated by them.

    I think the more straightforward explanation is the right one – he actually supports the Blunt amendment. Casey is Catholic, and cops to the Bishops’ right-wing views on reproductive freedom. He does not feel that he is in any political danger with liberals, let alone his Republican opponents, so he voted his conscience.

  2. brendancalling says:

    Bob Casey is also anti-gay marriage, so if you’re gay, he thinks you’re a second class citizen. we already know his disdain for women. he’s not pro-fracking yet, but give him time (and enough donations).

    Apparently, he’s having a St. Paddy’s Day Party in Philadelphia on the 9th. Last year it was at Finnigan’s Wake, someone needs to find out where this year’s is. It’d be great if he had to run a gauntlet of protestors on his way in.

  3. Beverly Johnson says:

    It has been 400 years since Catholic radicals faced being hanged drawn and quartered, ALAS, when they attempted to impose their will upon the people and the laws of the land. What a pity. But we do remember. remember!! It is an unspeakable perversion of care to deny a woman ownership of her body. Yes, I will remember. I will find someone to vote for but I will not be you. And I will do phone trees, hold meetings in my home and put placards up in my yard…..because this is the guy who holds womans health in contempt.

  4. Michael T. Rotz says:

    Because of the lunatic Republican stance on the issue of contraception and birth control, I was going to do something in November that I have never done before; vote a straight Democratic ticket. Now however, the next time Casey comes up for re-election, I will be voting for his opponent.

  5. Felindar says:

    Your right to do something does not equal
    a. The right to make me pay for it.
    b. Abrogate my right to disapprove of it.
    c. The right to make me participate in it.
    d. The right to force me to use your language to describe it.

  6. Nancy Jamison says:

    I am not Catholic. I worked for a Catholic social service agency and was OK with that as long as MY rights as an Employee and MY Protestant values were not compromised by my EMPLOYER. They were. Catholic Charities was my employer, not my moral leader. Most employees of Catholic social service organizations are not Catholic. Most clients of Catholic social service organizations are not Catholic. But- the so called “moral” code is inflicted on Protestant/agnostic/atheist/ whatever employees and clients alike through health insurance and a variety of “small” (and shocking) everyday decisions. Most Catholic women use birth control and about as many Catholics as anybody else get abortions. Moral decisions belong to the individual. Religious freedom means people get to go to whatever church they want…it doesn’t mean that churches and their “arms” can draw down public money and then inflict their values. Soliciting and accepting public money changes the whole deal.

    Several fundamentalist groups think drinking alcohol is a sin. So their employees cannot get drug and alcohol treatment?

    Slippery slope. I doubled my donation to Obama and many other others I know are doing the same.

  7. [...] AP: U.S. wants graphic warnings on cigarettes AP: New Jersey bans sale of synthetic marijuana PhillyNow: Senators Toomey, Casey: Birth control is bad and should be denied Fox Philadelphia: Philly using [...]

  8. Donna Dowd says:

    Where’s Joe Szetak? We need him badly in Pa.

  9. Donna Dowd says:

    Sorry Joe, it’s Sestak. Can’t believe my generation fought for women’s rights so long ago and they are now being dismantled, one by one. Women where is your outrage?

  10. Jack says:


    To clarify matters I have shown the present regulation and its web site below. Afterward I will make my comments my comments below.

    ** Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services.
    A religious employer is one that:
    (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose;
    (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets;
    (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and
    (4) is a non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii). 45 C.F.R. §147.130(a)(1)(iv)

    The complaint about this rule relates to 1, 2 and 3 above. For example, if a religious charity starts a hospital with the goal of healing Native Americans who worship their tribal god it violates rules 1 and 3.

    It violates rule 1 because its primary healing instead of spreading its religion, and it violates 3 because it serves people who worship a different god.

    I understand why the people who favor religious freedom are upset over this regulation, do you?

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