NY Rep. Buerkle: Vows as Nurse, Congresswoman Mesh in Contraception Fight

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 12:20 PM

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U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle sees her careers as a nurse, an attorney, and a congresswoman dovetailing in her fight against the Obama administration’s push to have faith-based institutions proved birth-control insurance coverage for employees.

The New York Republican insists that Obamacare’s contraceptive requirement amounts to a government attack against religious freedom. Even though the mandate later was adjusted to have insurance companies provide the coverage, the controversy continues because some Catholic institutions are self-insured and others contend that the institutions still will end up paying through premiums.

“Never before in the history of our country has the federal government demanded under penalty of a heavy fine that a religious organization — or an individual, for that matter — violate their faith or conscience in this manner,” Buerkle says in a video posted at CNSNews.com.

Buerkle says she never has broken the pledge she took as a nurse to devote herself to “the welfare of those committed to my care.” As an attorney, she made the same commitment as she did when she was sworn in to Congress — “an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Buerkle insists she never will break that commitment. “And that is why, even with all of the important issues that we are dealing with in our country today, it is my sworn duty to fight against this unconstitutional violation of religious freedom and the rights of conscience.”

Even if one agreed that providing abortion-inducing drugs and birth-control pills for free is good public policy, “the Obama administration could have proposed many different ways to accomplish this, but they didn’t,” Buerkle added.

“They deliberately chose to try and gain political advantage by forcing a choice onto religious organizations: Violate your faith or you will be fined.

Political affiliation does not matter, Buerkle said. “We must all be united, not divided, to restore this precious freedom of First Amendment.

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