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Oklahoma Lawmaker wants Employers to Pick And Choose Health Care Coverage
“If providing abortion coverage or any other type of sterilization procedures or processes is against your religious procedures you cannot be forced to have that insurance,” said Representative Gus Blackwell.
“You shouldn't have to choose where you work based on your employers religion or your employers view point on the world,” said ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director, Ryan Kiesel.
Officials are at odds over HJR-1020. The resolution's author Representative Gus Blackwell says the constitutional amendment would counter-act President Obama's federal mandate forcing companies to offer abortion and contraceptive coverage as part of their insurance policy despite their own religious beliefs.
“We as a nation were founded on religious freedom and I think this is just an antithesis to everything that we as a free people stand for and that’s freedom of religion,” said Blackwell.
“Religious liberty does not give license to discriminate against somebody or impose their beliefs upon another individual,” said Kiesel.
Kiesel said the federal mandate does not take religious freedom away from employers.
“It's not asking the employer to endorse or take contraceptives themselves. This is an insurance mandate that provides this coverage for their employees.”
“They are being forced to go against their religious conviction.”
People we spoke with are also split on the measure.
“I think if an insurance company is going to offer health insurance they don't get to pick and choose what goes along with it,” said Oklahoma City resident Chad Taylor.
“I feel like it’s not up to somebody else to choose if that's the right thing for a woman to do or not,” added Nicole Ford.
Posted: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 09:28 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Teen in devastated Okla. town handing out hugs
May 25, 2013 02:26 GMT
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- The people of the Oklahoma town where a deadly tornado struck could use just about everything -- cleaning supplies, food, water, shelter.
Thirteen-year-old Halle Carr thought residents of her hometown could also use a hug after the twister Monday that killed 24 people in Moore.
Halle has been standing on a corner with a white sign that reads: "Need a hug? I am here!" And people are taking her up on the offer.
On Friday, people in work trucks, cars and vans loaded with belongings rolled down their windows and reached out their arms to the girl. Some shouted words of encouragement.
Halle said it makes her feel good to spread a little cheer. She said she'll come out every day, as long as she thinks she's needed.
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