Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Obama administration released an updated version of the regulation, and it has immediately been met with sharp opposition from pro-life and religious groups. It appears that the revised version continues to violate religious freedom through its controversial “contraception mandate.”
The added mandate to the health care law requires health insurance plans to include abortifacient drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives. The new “expansion” of exemptions is being criticized for merely extending narrow definitions of religious organizations who may or may not be eligible. The revision still does nothing to protect employers of conscience of a non-religious nature. Challengers contend that this is a dramatic infringement on the exercise of religious freedom.
In a statement, Anna Higgins, J.D., director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, said:
The proposal does not expand religious freedom to all organizations and does nothing to change the current policy that forces religious entities to pay for insurance plans that include abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraception. The mandate continues to force religious non-profit institutions as well as companies guided by a well-articulated and longtime moral code, such as Hobby Lobby, to violate their faith, threatening serious fines in the millions of dollars if they refuse to comply.
These newest revisions are being considered an unacceptable “compromise.” Some are saying it is an attempt to divide and conquer the faith community. Since the beginning of the debate over ObamaCare, there has been a persistent effort to try to get people of faith and conscience to agree to a “shell game” of personal guilt when it comes to abortion. This has been met with a resounding, “NO!” For most the issue of walking out faith is not a matter of mathematical tricks and loop holes. It could be far more damaging for a narrow segment of religious non-profits to acquiesce for personal immunity while fellow believers are abandoned to the whims of the federal government.