The House vote targeted the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act passed by the District’s council last year. The city legislation aimed to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees accessing in-vitro fertilization, using birth control, having premarital sex or seeking an abortion. The measure would have added reproductive health to the city’s other employment discrimination protections.
Congress has the power to stop laws passed by the D.C. council, but the House hadn’t voted to do so in 23 years. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced the House version of the resolution, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) offering the Senate’s measure. Black’s bill on Thursday passed 228 to 192, with 13 Republicans voting against it and three Democrats in favor.
Conservatives have argued the city law would violate religious employers’ religious liberty, suggesting they could be forced to hire applicants whose beliefs conflicted with their own or be compelled to cover contraception and abortion.
“While the law’s supporters in the big-abortion lobby claim that this act protects against discrimination, the truth is this oppressive measure directly targets the First Amendment freedoms of pro-life and faith-based employers in our nation’s capital,” Black said in a statement before the vote.
Source: House Votes To Overturn D.C. Reproductive Health Discrimination Law