Pastor’s Pen – May 5, 2013

Published on 05. May, 2013 by in Pastor's Pen

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From the USCCB…

Dear Friend:

The Obama Administration’s contraceptive / abortifacient / sterilization mandate will begin to be enforced against non-profit religious schools, charities and health care providers on August 1. In the days to come, Congress must decide whether to address this problem through must-pass legislation before that deadline.

Members of the House should be urged to include the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940) in the next bill needed to keep the federal government operating. Materials on the need for better conscience protection are available at www.usccb.org/conscience. Please act today to protect conscience rights and religious liberty!

Recommended Actions:
Send an e-mail to your Representative through the USCCB’s Action Center.
Call your Representative. Contact the U.S. Capitol switch-board at 202-224-3121, or call your Representative’s local office. Additional info may be found on Representatives’ web sites at www.house.gov.
Suggested Message: “Please include the Health Care Con-science Rights Act (H.R. 940) in upcoming ‘must-pass’ legislation. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or purchase health coverage.”

Here is a bit more background of the current status of the HHS Mandate:
Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including services that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. These objectionable services include sterilization, FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and “education and counseling” to promote these to all “women of reproductive capacity,” including minor girls. The HHS mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer.” On February 1, HHS released a new “proposed rule” that goes into greater detail on the “accommodation” but continues to allow only a very narrow exemption, chiefly aimed at what it calls “houses of worship.” Other religious organizations offering education, health care and charitable services to all in need do not qualify for the exemption. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, or for businesses owned and operated by individuals with moral or religious objections.

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