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NCHLA Action Center

Protect Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty! (2)

3/21/2013


Send e-mail to Congress

En Español

In 2012, the Obama Administration’s contraceptive and sterilization mandate went into effect for most employers. Congress should support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940), by passing the bill or including its provisions in other legislation. Members of the House should also be asked to co-sponsor H.R. 940. Today please urge your Representative and two Senators to take action to protect conscience rights and religious liberty!

Recommended Actions:

  • Send an e-mail through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center: Click Here
  • Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. Additional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.

Suggested Message: "Please support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940) introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) on March 4, and urge the inclusion of this bill in ‘must-pass’ legislation. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or sponsor or purchase health coverage. The Administration’s contraceptive mandate forces health coverage to include sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, even when employers and employees have moral or religious objections.”

When: Please contact your Representative and two Senators today!

Background

The introduction of H.R. 940 was welcomed by both Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. In a March 8 letter, Cardinal O’Malley urged Members “to support H.R. 940, and help incorporate its policy into upcoming ‘must-pass’ legislation.” See: nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/OMalleyLttr030813.pdf. In an earlier letter to Congress, Archbishop Lori explained why conscience protection provisions like those found in H.R. 940 are needed. See: nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/LoriLttr021513.pdf.

For a Fact Sheet on H.R. 940, see: nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/HCCRAfactsheet.pdf

Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires 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, Depo-Provera, ‘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 HHS mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer.”

On February 1, HHS released a new “proposed rule” that goes into greater detail on the “accommodation” but 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 to all in need do not qualify for the exemption. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, or for businesses owned and operated by individuals with moral or religious objections.

Updated 3/8/2013






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