contraception, HHS Mandate, Religious Freedom

National Committee for a Human Live Amendment: Public Comments regarding HHS Mandate close April 8

 

Comments Due on Proposed Rule for HHS Mandate

3/27/2013

Under the new health care law, the Obama administration is requiring most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including services that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. Comments on a new “proposed rule” on how to implement this mandate are due by April 8. Please send in your comments today!

 

 

 

Action: Through the NCHLA Grassroots Action Center, you can send an e-mail opposing the proposed rule to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has invited public comment. Click Here.Written comments can be sent by U.S. mail to: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-9968-P, P.O. Box 8013, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. Comments longer than 2,000 characters can be submitted electronically as attached documents at:www.regulations.gov.Message: The Administration’s new proposed rule does little to correct the underlying problems in its contraceptive mandate, which continues to violate many Americans’ right of religious freedom.The rule exempts only an extremely narrow set of religious employers, primarily “houses of worship.” Almost all private health plans must cover sterilization and all FDA-approved “contraceptives,” including drugs that can cause abortion, as well as “education and counseling” promoting these to women and girls. This coverage will be imposed “automatically” even on the employees of many religious organizations and their children. Employers and employees will lose their right to seek health coverage that respects their values. I urge you to allow all organizations and individuals to offer, sponsor and obtain health coverage that does not violate their moral and religious convictions.

When: The deadline for comments to HHS is April 8. Please act today! Thanks!

 Background

 Under the new health care law, the Obama administration will require 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, implantable drugs, ‘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 mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer.” On February 6, the Administration published a new “proposed rule” that 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 are not exempt, but are eligible only for an “accommodation” under which all their employees and their families automatically receive the objectionable coverage. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, for pro-life organizations that are not explicitly religious, or for businesses owned and operated by individuals with moral or religious objections.

For more information on religious liberty and conscience rights, including the detailed comments submitted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Administration’s proposal, see:www.usccb.org/conscience. For a special fact sheet on the new proposed rule, see:www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/upload/Feb2013-_Version_Mandate_Factsheet.pdf.

Updated 3/27/2013

 

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