Today the U.S. Senate failed to save religious liberty from Obamacare’s collision course with freedom.

The Senate blocked, by a vote of 51-48, a bipartisan amendment introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) that would have preserved the religious liberty American individuals and institutions have enjoyed until this latest Obamacare mandate was finalized in mid-February.

Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate for preventive services forces insurance plans, including those carried by religious employers, to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization–even if such coverage violates their beliefs. Only houses of worship will be exempted. Religious groups that serve the public by providing health care, education, and basic food and shelter will be forced to violate their conscience or face penalties for dropping coverage.

Good Samaritans now face a fine on faith. The Congressional Research Service reports that if employers don’t comply with the government mandate, they can be fined $100 per day for each employee.

Americans are facing serious economic challenges, and many are in dire straits. Religious groups are often the first responders to serve those in need, but the Obama administration’s anti-conscience mandate now stands in their way.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) dismissed the First Amendment in his statement yesterday that, “It’s hard to understand why my Republican colleagues think this topic deserves to be debated in the first place.”

Americans must defend our first freedom. Obamacare must go.