Comments Due on Proposed Rule for HHS Mandate
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!
When: The deadline for comments to HHS is April 8. Please act today! Thanks!
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.