Protestants and Roman Catholics in Vermont are finding their religious beliefs ignored once again by a bill targeting health insurance.
The measure (H. 620) forces free insurance coverage in some areas that violate the religious beliefs of many Vermont residents. It was signed into law a week ago (on May 23) by Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin, who lauded the measure as a way to prevent efforts to undermine ObamaCare's contraception mandate.
But Carrie Handy, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, has issues with the legislation.
"This bill extends the contraceptive mandate to also include some additional items such as male sterilization, emergency contraception, [and] some items that include abortifacient-type drugs," she explains.
Many insurance plans do include those items – required coverage for free in Vermont – but Handy says the problem isn't just with those drugs and procedures.
"There's a handful of states that have absolutely no exception at all from the contraceptive mandate for any type of conscience exception – and Vermont is one of those states," she laments.
So while that apparently violates religious freedom – a principle upon which America was founded – Handy says lawmakers in Vermont are simply "dismissive of those who believe differently" ... meaning, in effect, "Vermont doesn't care."
Handy maintains that legislators consistently say they believe in diversity and allowing people to make choices on their own, unless it's people of faith. That, she says, is the same stance in Vermont legalizing doctor-assisted suicide.
Read Handy's testimony on H. 620 in Burlington earlier this year