House Votes to Allow D.C. Employers to Fire Women for Using Birth Control

Last year, Washington, D.C. passed a landmark anti-discrimination law that would prevent employers from penalizing women for using birth control. Today, for the first time in over two decades, the House of Representatives voted to overrule a local law passed in the District, by choosing to overrule the new anti-discrimination law.


House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the issue was one of “religious liberty.” His Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) countered that the vote was an “outrageous intrusion into workers' personal lives” and “totally inconsistent with the anti-government rhetoric that we hear around here morning, noon and night.”

One possible motivation for the vote, which was largely symbolic, would be to court interest groups. One, the National Right to Life Committee, specifically called for a roll call vote so it would be able to rate members of Congress on how they voted.

The vote was largely along party lines, but 13 Republicans sided with the Democrats and three Democrats broke ranks to support the Republicans. The White House has already vowed a veto and it is unlikely it will even reach the president's desk.

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