Richmond, VA – As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on an amendment by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would allow employers to drop insurance coverage for health services they morally oppose,  Governor Tim Kaine stated his strong opposition to the measure and called on the U.S. Senate to reject the amendment.

“I urge the Senate to reject this far-reaching amendment that creates a broad loophole to deny any preventive service to any employee – man or woman. This is a slippery slope that rolls back the promise of full preventive health care and removes consumer protections that prevent discrimination. Revoking guaranteed preventive services puts basic health care at risk including, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and contraception,” said Kaine. “Access to free preventive health care covers more than 1.5 million Virginians and I will continue to oppose attempts to take away life-saving services that keep people healthy and prevent serious and expensive health problems."

The Blunt Amendment allows any employer to refuse coverage of any preventive service – not just contraceptive care - based on a broad definition of “moral convictions.” The Blunt Amendment would affect preventive health care services for more than 54 million Americans and 1.5 million Virginians that were gained under the Affordable Care Act.