HHS Mandate Threatens Our FreedomThursday, February 2nd, 2012, My Catholic Standard: Archdiocese of Washington
In an unseasonably warm winter, the Obama Administration’s Jan. 20 decision reaffirming its mandate for health insurance plans to cover abortifacient drugs, sterilization and contraceptives should strike a chill in all Americans who value their religious freedom and conscience rights.
In his January e-letter to Catholics of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl noted the implications of the mandate: “The new mandate is the first federal regulation in our nation’s history to require all faith-based institutions to pay for coverage of abortifacient drugs, sterilization and contraceptives.”
In his letter, the cardinal noted that those products and procedures are widely available now, but with the mandate, “virtually all Catholic institutions and individuals will have to pay for that coverage. Being forced to provide these services violates both our faith conviction and our freedom.”
In the months leading up to the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was approved by President Obama, hundreds of thousands of Americans of different faiths urged the administration to broaden its religious exemption in the mandate, which was so narrow that it basically only offered conscience protection to houses of worship and to religious institutions that only employ and serve members of their own faith. Catholic leaders pointed out that even Jesus and His disciples wouldn’t have qualified for such an exemption, because they reached out to people of all faiths.Follow this link to read more.