A Republican lawmaker likened the new birth control mandate to two of the most deadly attacks on American soil.
During a press conference Wednesday, Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly, a fierce opponent of abortion rights, compared the new roll-out of the Affordable Health Care Act that mandates insurance coverage of several women's health services to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 — days when thousands of Americans were killed.
"I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor Day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack," Kelly said on Capitol Hill. "I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."
Beginning Wednesday, private insurers are required to provide birth control and health screenings to women at no additional cost.
Many Republicans lawmakers have objected to the mandate under the new law, saying it violates their religious beliefs and practices.
Kelly's comparison of the contraceptive mandate to the Pearl Harbor and September 11, 2011 attacks has received blow back from Democrats. New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, whose district includes Ground Zero, told Kelly to apologize.
"For the thousands of Americans who lost their lives on these two horrible days, to the thousands more who put on a uniform to protect this country and ensure that the lives of those lost are not forgotten, to the thousands more who mourned the loss of a loved one or bore witness to those two tragic days in American history, Mike Kelly's comments are beyond outrageous," Nadler said in a statement.