The abortion center safety regulations under review here in Virginia are vitally important — and we urge you to make your voice heard (find out how, here). In fact, the prestigious World magazine details the importance of the situation in this recent article, in which it cites The Family Foundation extensively. But while these important regulations are under consideration by the Board of Health here, in Washington there are equally important regulatory actions to oppose. as well. If approved, these regulations, as part of ObamaCare, would strip away our religious liberty and rights of conscience. So,we also urge you to act now to protect conscience rights and religious freedom. Here is the core of a letter from Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins outlining the significance of these proposed regulations on you, as taxpayers, and on medical professionals:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services needs to hear your voice on a critical matter related to life and religious freedom.
Because of a provision in Obamacare, HHS convened the Institute of Medicine to make recommendations for what "preventive services for women" should be mandatory in all private health insurance, with no cost to the patient. The IOM committee (which included no pro-life representation) recommended in July that free coverage of all contraceptives and sterilization services be mandatory. HHS then on August 3rd issued a "regulation" accepting these recommendations, meaning all private health insurance plans in the individual and group market will be required to cover these services with no co-pay for the patient.
To be clear, the federal government is mandating that all private health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization services (including those with abortifacient mechanisms of action) free of charge. Organizations that provide insurance to their employees will be forced to cover such services, even if they object. The effect is that the cost of these "free" services will be shifted to plan participants through higher premiums both to employees in employer sponsored plans, and to individuals in the individual insurance market.
The HHS regulation contains an exemption only for certain group plans, not insurance in the individual market. Moreover, the exemption is unacceptably narrow for churches, but would not include religious businesses or other organizations that have moral or religious objections to such coverage.
The mandate includes drugs deemed "contraceptives" by the FDA even if they can cause abortions like Plan B and Ella. (RU-486 is not included since the FDA approved it as an "abortifacient".) Employers and people who object to these drugs should not be forced to bear the costs for free abortions. This mandate will violate the conscience of millions of Americans, and it goes against the current conscience protections in law precisely to stop government discrimination.
HHS is receiving public comment only on the definition of "religious employer" that is so narrow as to only include churches, but not businesses or other groups. We are writing to ask that you speak up on behalf of life and conscience protections for all groups or individuals that have conscience objections to any contraceptives as well as those that can cause abortion. We urge you to submit "public comment" to HHS by clicking on the following link.
NOTE: Please be aware that all comments submitted on this issue are public record.
President, FRC Action