Heath and Human Services Mandate for Faith-Based Institutions

January 28th, 2012  |  Published in News

Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the approval of President Obama issued a new federal mandate making coverage of abortifacient drugs, sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives obligatory for virtually all employers, including faith-based institution. The mandate presents an aggressive challenge to religious liberty – so much so that even the Washington Post editorial board disagreed with it.

The HHS rule in question requires that virtually all private health plans include coverage of female sterilization procedures, contraceptives and abortifacients as “preventive services” – regardless of whether or not the insurer, employer or insured individual has a moral objection to such drugs and procedures. The rule includes a requirement – unprecedented at the federal level – that to qualify for a “religious employer” exemption, the party in question must hire and serve primarily people of its own faith. Our Catholic charitable organizations, schools and hospitals serve all people – Catholics and non-Catholics alike. This rule essentially requires that the Church either stop hiring and serving non-Catholics or violate our own religious beliefs by providing insurance coverage for medications and procedures we believe are immoral.

To learn more about this unprecedented challenge to our religious freedom please visit www.usccb.org/conscience and www.mdcathcon.org.

Thank you.