Congresswoman: ‘It Is My Sworn Duty to Fight’ Obama’s Attack on Religious Freedom

Melanie Arter | March 26, 2012 | 11:25am EDT
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Rep. Ann-Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.)

( – Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.), a nurse turned lawyer before joining Congress, makes her case against the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate on the grounds of religious freedom.

Buerkle said the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare “undoes in the stroke of a pen, a 220-year history of conscience rights protection in America.”

“Never before in the history of our country has the federal government demanded under penalty of a heavy fine that a religious organization or an individual for that matter violate their faith or conscience in this manner,” Buerkle said.

“The stated purpose of this mandate is to provide among other services free abortion-inducing drugs and birth control pills. Now even if you believe that providing these things for free is a good public policy, the Obama administration could have proposed many different ways to accomplish this, but they didn’t,” Buerkle added.

“They deliberately chose to try and gain political advantage by forcing a choice onto religious organizations: Violate your faith or you will be fined,” she said.

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Buerkle said as a nurse, she pledged to devote herself to “the welfare of those committed to my care,” and she never broke that pledge. Likewise, as an attorney, she took the same oath that she took when she was sworn in as a member of Congress – “an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“I will never break that pledge. And that is why even with all of the important issues that we are dealing with in our country today, it is my sworn duty to fight against this unconstitutional violation of religious freedom and the rights of conscience,” she said.

“It does not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, liberal or conservative. We must all be united, not divided, to restore this precious freedom of First Amendment,” Buerkle added.

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