This Is Not An Answer In Good Faith

I wrote my senators and congressmen as I do a couple of times a year, this time asking them to co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. That's the legislative effort to nullify proposed HHS regulations which force religious institutions to fund abortifacients and voluntary sterilizations or confine themselves to treating only their own.

I always write short, polite, factual letters and refrain from insulting people or telling them how to do their job. For my pains I have a string of the most preposterous and insulting "bug off" letters back from purported public servants.   Here's the latest.

Senator Mikulski just wrote me back on conscience rights. Her response? I can't defend your right of conscience, or insurance companies will stop covering blood transfusions.

Here's her letter in full:
Thank you for getting in touch with me to express your support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 (S. 1467). It's good to hear from you.
I want you to know that I have given the abortion issue very serious consideration. As someone who represents such a diverse constituency, I support respecting the individual conscience, so that each woman can decide for herself whether and when to have a child. I also support respecting the rights of medical students and doctors in their choice whether or not to perform abortions. Provider conscience protections allow health care workers to refuse to provide health care services based on moral or religious objections, and I have voted in favor of these protections.
I am, however, concerned about the scope of S. 1467. This legislation would allow any health care insurer or institution to refuse to cover or provide any health care service based on the beliefs of an individual affiliated with the institution. This goes much further than protecting the rights of an individual medical provider. This could result in health insurance plans refusing to cover a range of medical services – from organ transplantation to blood transfusion to family planning services – because of the beliefs of one individual.  Similarly, this legislation could result in a hospital denying a woman needed medical care in the event of a life-threatening pregnancy. 
I appreciate knowing of your support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 (S. 1467).  This legislation is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).  I will keep your thoughts in mind should this legislation come before the Senate.
Thanks again for writing.  Please let me know if I can be of assistance in the future. 

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

Blood transfusions? Seriously? (Actually, I would have no problem if the Jehovah's Witnesses ran an agency if they refused to cover blood transfusions for their members presuming that policy was fully disclosed. Nothing requires a person to work for a church group.)  The stupider accusation is that a single member of a company  can block care for anyone on a whim; that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the right of a free association of people not to be complicit in actions they find morally odious.

Senator Mikulski "respects" the "conscience right" of a woman to abort her child, and believes Church groups have no right not to participate in that act.