Supporters of the birth control rule also take issue with it being characterized as "an assault on religious freedom." They argue that the alternative, which is allowing employers to cherry-pick health benefits for the women they employ based on the employers' religious beliefs, encroaches on individual liberty.
"My question is: Who has the conscience? The employer who might have some generalized religious charter, but who's employing vast numbers of people who aren't of that religion, or the individual who's exercising his own religious conscience?" DeGette asked.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) predicted to reporters that if Republican lawmakers try to repeal the new rule through legislation, there will be a massive backlash equal to the one that hit Susan G. Komen for the Cure last week when it tried to defund Planned Parenthood.
"We saw a mobilization of women around the country that was unprecedented when breast cancer screenings were going to be taken away from Planned Parenthood," Schakowsky said. "We've seen ourselves be discriminated against in health care before, and we're not going to go backwards. It will be at their peril that they try to undo this."
The Obama administration said Wednesday that it has no plans to back down on the birth control rule, although it will work with faith-based organizations to help them implement it.