Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, regrets having voted for a controversial birth control amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., that would have let employers opt out of providing anything they objected to in health insurance for workers, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
"I have never had a vote I've taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me," the newspaper quotes Murkowski as saying.
Murkowski told the paper she meant to vote for religious freedom, but to female voters back home it looked like a vote against contraception. The language of the amendment was "overbroad," she said, adding she would not vote the same way a second time.
Murkowski said contraception should be covered and affordable, but that churches and religiously affiliated organizations should get an opt-out—something the Obama administration offers.
Under the Health and Human Services Department rule, churches and religious employers that hire primarily people of their same faith do not have to provide coverage for birth control care if they object, and insurers must pay for such coverage for affiliated organizations such as church-owned schools and hospitals.
Murkowski also conditionally supports abortion rights. "I have taken the position that there are instances where abortion should be made available. They should be made safe and legal," the newspaper quoted her as saying.