A coalition of 13 attorneys general issued a collaborative letter to the Obama administration, urging it to provide exemptions to privately owned businesses under its Department of Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate, arguing that it violates religious liberties otherwise.
The letter argues that the White House’s modifications made to the HHS mandate reward exemptions to religious nonprofits, large faith-based hospitals and universities, but fail to reward exemptions to for-profit business owners who object to the mandate on conscience grounds.Religious institutions argue that the HHS mandate violates their religious liberties because it requires them to provide health care coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients.
“We believe the proposed regulations do not remedy the legal infirmities in the original HHS mandate,” the letter reads.
The letter goes on to list three problems with the proposed regulations of the HHS mandate, the first being “there is no compelling reason to refuse to extend to all religious-affiliated nonprofits the exception that is available to houses of worship.”
“The government must show with particularity how its interest ‘would be adversely affected by granting an exemption.'”