U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is again firmly in the extremist camp by joining hands with the Family Research Council to campaign for a “religious conscience” exemption to mandatory health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

This takes objections beyond religious employers to let any person object to buying insurance that coversthings  they find morally objectionable.


This is about abortion and contraception, primarily. You won’t find the word contraception in Cotton’s news release, however, because a lot of American woman have no objection whatsoever to preventive health care coverage that includes birth control pills and other family planning aids. They, in fact, might be unhappy in large numbers to know that Cotton and his friends would like to coerce insurance companies into providing no coverage spread over their premium base for family planning.

Does Cotton propose to allow Christian Scientists to be exempted entirely from health insurance requirements?


Does Cotton propose to allow those who object to tubal ligations, vasectomies, morning-after pills, erectile dysfunction medication (if you can’t have children, why must you have sex?) from buying insurance? It would seem so if he’s serious and principled about allowing all with moral objections to opt out.

Would Cotton allow someone to refuse coverage from QualChoice if, after purchase by the St. Vincent Catholic health system, an employer-subsidized policy allows them to use only a hospital that won’t allow them to terminate life support.


The news release is silent on that, too.

This is abortion demagoguery, no more or less. It is the continuing war on women’s reproductive rights.

His release:

U.S. Senate Candidate Tom Cotton renewed his call today for Congress to take action on legislation that would add religious conscience protections to Obamacare and called on Senator Mark Pryor to stand on the side of religious freedom rather than protecting President Obama’s prized healthcare law at all costs.


Cotton is a co-sponsor of the Healthcare Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940) that would prohibit the federal government from forcing an individual to purchase health insurance that covers abortion or other services to which the individual has a moral or religious objection. It also protects employers from being forced to issue policies that cover abortion and such items that the issuer has a moral or religious objection to.

“In America, we have a long-standing tradition of respecting conscience and upholding religious freedom,” said Cotton. “No American should have to choose between violating their religious faith and paying a crippling fine. Senator Pryor should stop trying to protect Obamacare at all costs and instead help provide relief to the millions of Americans who are suffering because of it.”

The companion bill to H.R. 940 is S. 1204 and is sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). Senator Mark Pryor is not a co-sponsor.

On Wednesday, Cotton was a guest on “Washington Watch” with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins to discuss his support of the legislation. The audio of that interview can be heard here.