Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) recently questioned Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) about the Kennedy health reform bill—and whether a new provision would include abortion providers—in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Sen. Mikulski confirmed that the bill “would include Planned Parenthood clinics” and “any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.”
In the realm of politics, there are a lot of misunderstood issues, and “hate-crimes” legislation is one of them. It seems harmless on the surface, but don’t let appearances fool you—it could be used to stifle and even prosecute religious speech.
The Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Act (S.909), which is ready to be voted on this week in the U.S. Senate (probably as an amendent to the Defense Authorization Bill), would grant the Department of Justice alarming, broad-sweeping power. If passed, the DOJ would be authorized to investigate and prosecute certain bias-motivated crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.