Protecting our first freedoms:
Faith, conscience and speech

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Organizations' statements - contraceptives mandate 2012

 

Public statements on mandate comments

Formal comments submitted to HHS on Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Download file Alliance Defense Fund (for Catholic higher education) ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Americans United for Life ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Becket Fund for Religious Liberty ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Bioethics Defense Fund and Life Legal Defense Fund ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Christian Legal Society ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Christian Medical Association ANPRM comment.pdf

Download file Collegium Aesculapium ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Conscience Cause ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Council for Christian Colleges and Universities ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Family Research Council ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Institututional Religious Freedom Alliance and other F-BOs ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Law of Life Project ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file National Catholic Bioethics Center ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Self-Insurance Institute of America ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file Susan B Anthony and Charlotte Lozier Institute ANPRM comments.pdf

Download file US Conf Catholic Bishops ANPRM comments.pdf

Lawsuits filed to fight the mandate

Download file Notre Dame lawsuit HHS mandate.pdf

Statements on Pres. Obama's Feb. 10, 2012 contraception coercion decision

Christian Medical Assn. / Freedom2Care: CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens asserted, "The President's so-called 'religious accommodation' today shows that he either has no comprehension of what conscience convictions mean or that he cynically chooses to disregard conscience and play a political game. We learned from his executive order on abortion in health care reform that verbal engineering cannot cover up a contempt for conscience.
"Those of us who have a conscientious conviction that contraceptive pills that can end the life of a developing human being are morally impermissible not only deplore paying for them directly; we also deplore the government forcing insurance companies or anyone else to pay for them.

U.S. Conf. Catholic Bishops: "Today, the President has done two things. First, he has decided to retain HHS's nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients. This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern. Second, the President has announced some changes in how that mandate will be administered, which is still unclear in its details. We note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders-for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals-is unacceptable and must be corrected. We note that today's proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services." Full statement...

National Right to Life Committee: "President Obama today promulgated a scam that, if he is re-elected, will allow him to mandate that every health plan in America cover abortion on demand," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "The same twisted logic will be applied: By ordering health plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and care for the baby -- and under the Obama scam, if a procedure saves money, then that means that you're not really paying for it when the government mandates it."

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt: "It's still clear that President Obama does not understand this isn't about cost - it's about who controls the religious views of faith-based institutions. President Obama believes that he should have that control. Our Constitution states otherwise. Just because you can come up with an accounting gimmick and pretend like religious institutions do not have to pay for the mandate, does not mean that you've satisfied the fundamental constitutional freedoms that all Americans are guaranteed."

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA): "What sets our nation apart is that religious freedom is a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment, not simply a privilege to be given and taken away on a government whim," said Upton. "We do not and cannot begin to compromise on this fundamental right. Today's announcement is not a compromise on policy - it simply pretends to shift costs away from religious employers, but it doesn't fix the problem and is another call for individuals and institutions to compromise on principle. 
Pitts said, "This is a fig leaf and a disingenuous gimmick. The President needs to take off his green eye shade and read the First Amendment. This outrage is one more reason why the President's healthcare law needs to be repealed. The very idea that the President now has the power to force America's largest Christian denomination to violate long-held church doctrine is antithetical to everything America stands for. This is supposed to be a free country."

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch: "This is about religious freedom, and anything short of a full exemption is no compromise. The White House has shown time and time again that nothing will stand in the way of politics, and their actions on this mandate reflect that. The backlash surrounding the White House's decision to force religious institutions to act against their beliefs lays that fundamental fact that the President's health law is unconstitutional to its very core."

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan: "This ObamaCare rule still tramples on Americans' First Amendment right to freedom of religion. It's a fig leaf, not a compromise. Whether they are affiliated with a church or not, employers will still be forced to pay an insurance company for coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs. This is not just a problem for church-affiliated hospitals and charities. Under these rules, a small business owner with religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs and contraception must either violate his religious beliefs or violate the law."

Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04): "The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else. It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naïve or gullible would accept this as a change in policy. The newest iteration of Obama's coercion rule utterly fails because it still forces religious employers and employees who have moral objections to paying for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception to pay for these things, because it is still the employers who buy the coverage for their employees. The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers "will not" have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their "insurance companies" will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins: "This revised HHS mandate does nothing to change the fundamentally anti-religious, anti-conscience and anti-life contraceptive mandate. It rather only creates some paperwork gimmicks that don't change the fact that religious employers who object to coverage of these services will now have to drop health insurance altogether to maintain their conscience and face severe penalties for doing so. This new proposal still requires religious entities that are not exempt as a church to subsidize and pay insurance companies so they can give free birth control to their employees. However, it won't be free, because the insurance companies will increase the premium and administrative costs to the employer. This new gimmick forces religious entities to violate their religious beliefs and continues to show a complete disdain for the First Amendment. There is no compromise if a single American citizen is required to violate his or her conscience."

C-FAM: "President Obama is calling contraception 'preventative health care for women' like they do in Europe, as if pregnancy and children are a disease. But Americans are still choosing to have enough children to replace themselves, and so long as that continues the US will avoid Europe's brutal demographic decline, says Susan Yoshihara, Vice President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). "Why do American women have more children on average than any developed country in the world? Not because they don't have contraception. The government spends over $2 billion a year for family planning. Demographers say it's only partly about immigration, and a lot about values: optimism, a frontier spirit, and religious ideals. In short, Americans have children because they love children. And they know that children don't just 'take,' they grow up to create, produce, and to defend us."

Becket Fund for Religious Liberty - "The Obama Administration announced changes to the government rule that requires all employers to pay, without co-pay, abortion-causing drugs, all contraceptives and sterilizations. But do not be fooled by this announcement. President Obama only wants to quell the political firestorm, without addressing the fundamental right of conscience. He's treating conscience not as an inalienable right, but as a political football to be kicked around in an election year."

Academic leaders including Princeton's Dr. Robert George and 117 others - "This so-called "accommodation" changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy. It is certainly no compromise. The reason for the original bipartisan uproar was the administration's insistence that religious employers, be they institutions or individuals, provide insurance that covered services they regard as gravely immoral and unjust. Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services." read full letter

Care Net: President Melinda Delahoyde said, "As the President of a non-profit Christian organization, I am deeply disturbed that the president appears to be playing a cynical political game with the religious liberties of faith-based organizations. According to his most recent statement, religious employers would still be paying for health insurance for their employees, and the insurance companies would be required to include contraceptive coverage. Shifting the mandate to insurance companies rather than employers represents a political sleight of hand that changes nothing and continues to infringe on the freedom of conscience of faith-based employers. The President needs to know that objections to the contraceptive coverage mandate are not about money, but about abridging the fundamental religious liberty of faith-based institutions by entangling them in practices which violate their convictions."

Catholic Medical Association: President Obama announced a "new compromise" to his rule that all employers, including Catholic institutions, must pay for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization benefits. Unfortunately, his solution merely shifts the coercion from religious employers to insurance companies and to the people who pay premiums. While the CMA will study the details of the new policy as they become available, it appears to fall far short of addressing the fatal flaws in the original rule. The Catholic Medical Association encourages people to support, and Congress to pass, legislation that fully protects the conscience rights and religious freedom of individuals, religions, and institutions (such as the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, H.R. 1179 and S. 1467).

The Cardinal Newman Society: "It is quickly becoming clear that President Obama's revised mandate for insurance coverage of abortifacients, sterilization and contraception amounts to nothing more than political theater. The mandate remains. And so our fight continues. Under terms of the revised mandate, students at Catholic colleges and universities will still be provided free abortion-causing drugs, sterilization and contraception. And Catholic colleges and universities will still be compelled under the force of law to pay for such coverage for their students and employees if they offer a health plan. There can be no compromise that does not eliminate the mandate."

Americans United for Life - President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest: "It is clear that Americans need Congress to step in to protect their rights of conscience under the law and to end their forced participation in President Obama's abortion-inducing drug mandate. The preventive healthcare guidelines include ella, a drug that ends unborn life. This is not necessary health care for women. And it is incredibly naive to believe that this will not cost either women or their employers. Insurance companies will surely take the projected expenses of these efforts into account when pricing coverage."

Concerned Women for America: Requiring employers affiliated with the Christian faith, like Concerned Women for America, to include free abortion-inducing drugs in their health insurance plans is contrary to both Christian doctrine and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. When religious groups are forced to deny their deeply held religious convictions, it is not called "balance"; it is called "tyranny." Every American will be forced to undermine their moral and religious principles and subsidize what they believe to be morally repugnant. As much as President Obama would like us to believe this is a "women's right's issue," this is really a religious freedom issue. President Obama has abused his executive power and overstepped the bounds of the Constitution.

Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC) - Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: "Southern Baptists and people of other various faith communities are outraged with President Obama's so-called compromise on his administration's abortion mandate. In his attempt to mollify his radical pro-abortion supporters, President Obama has declared that individual conscience is subject to government edict. The president's failure to grasp the seriousness of this issue reveals a dangerous presidential blind spot concerning First Amendment constitutional religious free exercise guarantees."

Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance - "The administration's contraceptives mandate is only one of the many and growing threats to the religious freedom of faith-based service organizations. If this mandate stands, faith-based colleges and universities will have to include the morally controversial drugs in the health insurance offered not only to their faculty and staff but also to their students. Unfortunately, all too often these days government and powerful activist groups regard the distinctive ways faith-based organizations serve their neighbors to be merely instances of discrimination, hate, and bigotry."

House:

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)

Rep. Marlin Stuzman (R-IN)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Senate:

Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Senator Dan Coats (R-IN)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

 

House hearing on Obama administration contraceptives mandate

Blackburn-hearingOn November 2, 2011, the House Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the topic, "Do New Health Law Mandates Threaten Conscience Rights and Access to Care?

View the hearing (panelists begin around 23:00)

Background Memo

Opening Statement of Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts

Witnesses

 

Pro-life organizations comment on federal contraception mandate rule

Download file AAPLOG - preventive services statement

Download file Alliance Defense Fund et al - preventive services comment

Download file Alliance of Catholic Health Care - preventive services comment

Download file American College of Pediatricians - preventive services comment

Download file Americans United for Life - preventive services comment

Download file Beckett Fund - preventive services comment

Download file Catholic Charities - preventive services comment

Download file Catholic Medical Association - preventive services comment

Download file Christian Medical Association - preventive services comment

Download file Collegium Aesculapium - preventive services comment

Download file Congress - Fortenberry et al - preventive services comment

Download file Family Research Council - preventive services comment

Download file National Catholic Bioethics Center - preventive services comment

Download file U.S. Conference Catholic Bishops - preventive services comment

Download file U.S. senators - preventive services letter

 

 

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