January 31, 2012
On January 20 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reaffirmed a rule that under the new health care law, virtually all private health care plans must cover sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception.
The rule is set to take effect August 1, 2012. Non-profit religious employers that do not now provide such coverage, and are not exempt under the rule’s extremely narrow definition of religious employer, will be given one year to comply.
To correct the threats to religious liberty and rights of conscience posed by the new health care law, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act has been introduced in Congress (H.R. 1179, S. 1467). This measure will ensure that those who participate in the health care system “retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.” It is more important than ever that Members of Congress be urged to co-sponsor and work to pass this measure.
If you have not contacted your Representative and two Senators on this matter in the last couple of days, please click on the link below to send your message.
Responding to the January 20 announcement, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.” Noting that the Obama administration “has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand,” the Cardinal-designate urged that the HHS mandate be overturned.
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