Obama Administration Decision on Contraceptive Mandate Defies Religious Freedom on Pro-Life Issues
Today the Obama Administration issued a statement re-iterating the "contraceptive mandate" requiring all insurance providers cover the full range of FDA-approved drugs and devices would remain intact. This mandate, issued in August, includes drugs that work after conception to destroy life rather than prevent it. The statement included a postponement of one year for religious groups that do not already carry contraceptives and additionally would not be exempted under last year's narrow definition of "religious employer."
The mandate not only violates such existing conscience protections on abortion such as the Hyde/Weldon Amendment (in so far as Plan B and Ella are covered), but also violates the principles of the Church Amendments which protects conscience rights for those who object to contraceptives and other services on moral or religious grounds. Additionally, the U.S. government already funds domestic family planning at a level of $1.9 billion annually.
Tom McClusky of FRC Action had the following to say:
"This HHS delay does nothing to change the anti-religious, anti-conscience, and anti-life contraceptive mandate, rather it only postpones its implementation until after the presidential election. Despite the fact that certain drugs and devices approved by the FDA can work after conception to destroy a newly developed baby, the Obama Administration mandate still forces all insurance plans to carry these drugs and devices even if employers are morally opposed.
"This does nothing to expand conscience protections it merely punts compliance for most religious employers with conscience objections until after the election. It does nothing to modify or expand the very narrow exemption for churches to include the thousands of religious organizations who don't qualify, it only delays their pending obedience for 1 year.
"The new rule also mandates that these groups with a one-year reprieve in the mean time will be forced to tell their employees where to obtain contraceptives. This completely violates the conscience rights of many Americans. As we approach the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade tomorrow may all voters who respect life take note of the Obama Administration's ardent policies against life and religious liberty and vote accordingly in November."