From Lake County Right to Life…
Religious Hospitals Could be Forced to Cease Providing Health Care
(Grayslake, IL – August 2, 2011) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday that the federal government will require new health plans to fully cover all contraception, including sterilization and pills designed to cause abortions. Conscience protections previously promised in President Obama’s 2010 Executive Order, as well as current conscience laws, have been ignored.
Sebelius’s decision to classify contraception as “preventive medicine,” causes all related drugs having FDA approval, such as abortion pills Ella, Plan B and RU486, to be included in health plans at 100% coverage. This means that individuals and insurers who find these morally objectionable will have no other option and will be forced to pay for them.
The new rule gives HHS the discretion to authorize a “religious” exemption, but it is so narrow it would exclude most religious health care providers. For instance, Catholic hospitals would be free to follow Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston asked “Could the federal government possibly intend to pressure Catholic institutions to cease providing health care, education and charitable services to the general public? Health care reform should expand access to basic health care for all, not undermine that goal.”
The Administration’s failure to create a meaningful conscience exemption to the preventive services mandate underscores the need for Congress to approve the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. That bill (HR 1179), introduced by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Dan Boren (D-OK) would prevent mandates under the new health reform law from undermining rights of conscience.
Lake County Right to Life urges Congress to pass the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” (HR 1179) to protect millions from being forced to violate deeply held moral and religious convictions.
About Lake County Right to Life
Established in 1973 and headquartered in Grayslake, Lake County Right to Life is an educational and advocacy organization for the protection of innocent human life. The organization works in Lake County to promote the vision of a society in which all human life is respected, protected and secure.