Freedom of Religion Legislative Action Alert

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I received the following legislative action alert concerning the HHS Mandate in an email this morning. 

The alert asks people to contact their Congresspeople urging them to make the repealing the HHS Mandate a sticking point in the Fiscal Cliff/Sequester fight currently going on in Congress right now.

In my opinion, our supporters in Congress should have done this a year ago, before the Mandate took effect. But, later is much better than never. 

You can contact your Senators and Representatives by calling their local offices or you can do it by email. To learn who your elected officials in Washington are, and get their phone numbers and email addresses, go here

This is the full text of the alert, which comes from the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment:

In 2012, the Obama Administration’s contraceptive and sterilization mandate went into effect for most employers. Congress is preparing to consider “must-pass” appropriations legislation. Needed conscience protection provisions should be made a part of this legislation. Today please urge your Representative and two Senators to take action to protect conscience rights and religious liberty!

Recommended Actions:

  • Send an e-mail through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center: Click Here
  • Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. Additional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: www.senate.gov andwww.house.gov

Suggested Message: “Please support legislation to protect the rights of conscience in health care when you take up ‘must-pass’ bills such as a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or sponsor or purchase health coverage. The Administration’s contraceptive mandate forces health coverage to include sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, even when employers and employees have moral or religious objections.”

When: Congress may consider “must-pass” appropriations legislation such as a Continuing Resolution as early as the week of March 4. Please contact your Representative and two Senators today! 

Background

In a February 15 letter to Congress, Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, described specific conscience protection provisions and why they are needed, concluding: “I urge you in the strongest terms possible to incorporate the provisions described above in the upcoming legislative proposals to fund the federal government.” See:nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/LoriLttr021513.pdf.

Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including services that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. These objectionable services include sterilization, FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and “education and counseling” to promote these to all “women of reproductive capacity,” including minor girls. The HHS mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer.”

On February 1, HHS released a new “proposed rule” that goes into greater detail on the “accommodation” but continues to allow only a very narrow exemption, chiefly aimed at what it calls “houses of worship.” Other religious organizations offering education, health care and charitable services to all in need do not qualify for the exemption. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, or for businesses owned and operated by individuals with moral or religious objections.

  • Oregon Catholic

    Why should we add more gridlock to the mess? It’s looking darn near hopeless that the 2 sides can agree on anything now and I cannot see piling on any more legislation to complicate it even more. Real people are about to be hurt very badly if the arbitrary cuts go through because we have a non-functioning government. The president and congress are going to let the head of each Dept. do what they didn’t have the b*lls to do themselves and then pass off the blame for the pain. The cowardice of our elected officials is unprecedented and I for one will not vote to return any to congress again – ever.

  • Bill S

    “The alert asks people to contact their Congresspeople urging them to make the repealing the HHS Mandate a sticking point in the Fiscal Cliff/Sequester fight currently going on in Congress right now.”

    Right. Let’s add another obstacle. As if we don’t have enough problems in Congress. What exactly are advocates of doing this trying to accomplish?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      They’re trying to save the First Amendment and preserve religious freedom for individuals as well as institutions.

  • Bill S

    If the HHS Mandate is a violation of the First Amendment, such a ruling would be obtained through the courts. Companies like Hercules and Hobby Libby have plenty of money to hire good lawyers in order to make the case against it.

    • Ted Seeber

      Which is why I’ve been saying all along that these politicians, like most moral relatives, have no understanding or respect for history.

    • Oregon Catholic

      It’s a crying shame that anyone has to hire and pay for their own lawyers to defend themselves against unconstitutional laws. Especially when they are instigated by so-called constitutional legal experts like Obama. We should be allowed to sue for legislative malpractice when we win. And we will win. If we don’t, we can count the Supreme Court as the final failed branch of the government and I think I might move to an isolated island in the North Sea at that point.


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