FRC Action


Click Here to Provide Public 'Comment' on HHS Contraceptive Mandate Rule and New Proposed Accounting Gimmicks
March 28, 2013 - Thursday

They're at it again, and we need your help to ensure liberty remains.

We know that religious freedom does not stop inside a church door -- not in America! The First Amendment -- our First Freedom -- protects both individuals and groups; for-profit groups like Hobby Lobby, and non-profits like Wheaton College.

However, yet another "proposed regulation" by the Obama Administration issued in February does nothing to protect religious freedom in implementing the Department of Health and Human Services abortion drug and contraception mandate. The original HHS mandate issued in August, 2011 included an exemption for employers who hired and served people of the same faith, and had as its primary purpose the "inculcation of religion." This meant only churches were exempt.

There is no exemption or even supposed "accommodation" for businesses. For religious non-profits, the administration proposed in 2012 a religious "accommodation." However, it turns out that the proposals merely force religious non-profits to provide free abortifacients and contraceptives in their insurance plans with the cost being shifted to the insurer. The administration's new proposed omits the embarrassingly restrictive prong about "inculcating religion," but the exemption in practice still only applies to churches and their auxiliaries.

The proposed rule lays out more specifics on the "accounting gimmick" that all religious charities, health care providers and universities will be required to implement in offering free contraception and abortifacient coverage in their employee health plans. As proposed, the rule would still require religious non-profit employers to purchase health plans. If the employer objects to including abortifacients and contraceptives, the insurance company then is required to "automatically" and "simultaneously" provide the free coverage of objectionable services to the employees. The Administration claims this "simultaneous" coverage offered by the insurer is separate enough from the employer's plan to "accommodate" their religious objections. However, the employer's plan is still under this gimmick the legal trigger for free contraceptives and abortifacients to the employees. This doesn't protect conscience, it guts it.

We need you to provide public "comment" to HHS opposing the proposed regulation. Follow this link to submit your comment to HHS, so they will know that those on the side of religious freedom care about this issue (don't worry, we'll provide you with some sample text). Our religious freedoms are essential to our democracy, and we urge you to please act now - the open comment period ends April 8.

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