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Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, sharply criticized the decision by the Obama administration in which it “ordered almost every employer and insurer in the country to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans….Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.”
See the impressive list of links to the bishops’ statements.
VIDEO: Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, sharply criticized the decision by the Obama administration, HHS mandate
USCCB Responds to Misleading White House Blog Entry
The Obama administration, to justify its widely-criticized mandate for contraception and sterilization coverage in private health plans, has posted a set of false and misleading claims on the White House blog (“Health Reform, Preventive Services, and Religious Institutions,” February 1). This new USCCB fact sheet quotes and responds to each claim in turn.
The HHS has issued a rule forcing nearly all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as surgical sterilization. These are listed among “preventive services for women” that all health plans will have to cover without co-pays or other cost-sharing — regardless of whether the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman herself objects to such coverage.
The exemption provided for “religious employers” is so narrow that it fails to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals, universities, and service organizations that help millions every year. Ironically, not even Jesus & his disciples would have qualified.
During the public comment period last fall, the bishops’ grassroots campaign alone generated over 57,000 comments to HHS opposing their mandate.
Now that the Administration has refused to recognize the Constitutional conscience rights of organizations and individuals who oppose the mandate, the bishops are now urging Catholics and others of good will to fight this unprecedented attack on conscience rights and religious liberty.
More than 400 Catholic leaders have called on Congress and the Administration to protect conscience rights in health care. The open letter appeared as a full page ad featuring over 150 of those leaders in the New York Times and the Washington Post on December 21.
- Write to Congress. . . urging support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).
- Share this page with others so they can get informed & take action, too. Social media & e-mail options are found under “SHARE” at the upper right of this page — and at the upper right corner of Cardinal-designate Dolan’s video. . . .
- Will contraception really be “free” under this coercive mandate? Read Richard Doerflinger’s column “The High Costs of ‘Free’ Birth Control” to find out.
- There’s lots of confusion about what the HHS edict involves. For a quick summary, see our 2-page FAQ called The HHS Mandate for Contraception/Sterilization Coverage: An Attack on Rights of Conscience.
- For more information on the HHS mandate and its inadequate conscience protection, read our Preventive Services Backgrounder.
Select News Releases
- Bishops Renew Call to Legislative Action on Religious Liberty– February 10+ Regulatory changes limited and unclear
+ Rescission of mandate only complete solution
+ Continue urging passage of Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
- Bishops Studying Initial White House Movement On Religious Liberty – February 10
- Bishops Decry HHS Rule, Urge Catholics to Stand Up for Religious Liberty and Conscience Rights in Homilies at Vigil for Life – January 23
- Cardinal-Designate Dolan Speaks Out Against HHS Rule, Calls For Action In New Web Video – January 20
- U.S. Bishops Vow to Fight HHS Edict – January 20
- U.S. Bishops Welcome Pope’s Reaffirmation of Religious Liberty During Ad Limina Visit – January 19
- Bishops Hail Court Decision Upholding Religious Liberty – January 11, 2012
- Cardinal Calls For Greater Conscience Protection In Health Care Reform On Eve Of Subcommittee Hearing – November 1, 2011
- Cardinal Reaffirms Support for Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, Cites HHS Mandate as Cause for Urgency – September 7, 2011
- USCCB Urges Rescission of HHS Contraceptive Mandate,Criticizes ‘Inexplicably Narrow’ Definition of Religious Freedom – August 31, 2011
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