The president of the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare system has declared that the requirements imposed by the HHS Mandate threaten the ability of the organization to provide quality healthcare to the needy. Ascension Health is a non-profit organization run by the Catholic Church that offers medical care to those in need, but the requirements imposed by the HHS Mandate requires the violation of their religious beliefs against the use of contraceptives and abortion drugs.
Despite being affiliated with the Catholic Church, Ascension Health is required to comply with the HHS Mandate. If a group that is affiliated with a Church – with a religion – must comply with the Mandate, what does that mean for other groups that are run by deeply religious people, such as Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A? How can employers be expected to violate their deeply-held morals, based on their religion, because the Government tells them what they must do? How can a religion-based health service be expected to put aside their religious beliefs because the Government tells them what they must do?
When a religion-based employer, who bases their entire business model on their religious beliefs, cannot practice those beliefs due to a mandate passed down by the U.S. Government, which is a violation of their Constitutional rights. The First Amendment guarantees that the Government will not violate the rights of the people to practice their religion as they see fit. This means that people have the right to practice their religion in their business, if that is how they choose to put their beliefs into practice.
Religious organizations are some of the leading charitable groups in the nation, and the world, and when the Government steps in and forces them to violate their beliefs in order to meet unconstitutional laws, it becomes difficult to live up to their mission. These organizations rely on the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit in order to meet the needs of the individuals that they serve. But when the right to freedom of religion is violated, the needy that are served by these organizations are the ones who suffer most.