Religious employers should be exempt from having to provide health care coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization out of respect for the religious freedom protected by the First Amendment, Heritage Foundation vice president David Addington says.
“The Obama Administration should immediately exempt such religious employers from the contraception mandate,” he writes on Heritage’s blog, The Foundry. “The Administration’s trampling upon religious liberty with the contraception mandate illustrates yet again the need to repeal the Obamacare statute.”
Under Obamacare, religiously-based institutions are mandated to provide coverage for these services even if their religious beliefs forbid it.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is publicly declaring that this mandate forces them to comply with an “unjust law.” If the rule is not overturned, they would face the hard choice of defying their beliefs or ending their health care activities entirely.
A lawsuit was filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of an interdenominational Christian college calls this mandate “un-American, unprecedented, and flagrantly unconstitutional” since it forces them to go against their beliefs.
Addington offers further details on what the Obama administration should do:
The Department of Health and Human Services should broadly exempt religious institutions in its final regulations implementing the Obamacare contraception mandate, pending repeal of that mandate as part of the Obamacare statute repeal. Such an exemption would allow the religious institutions both to adhere, as they must, to the tenets of their faiths and to provide group health care plans for their employees. Absent such an exemption, many religious institutions, following their faiths, will have no alternative but to stop making group health plans available to their employees and pay any fines for failure to do so.
The First Amendment of the Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
But the Obama administration has glossed over this fundamental freedom and has imposed an obligation upon those institutions wishing to exercise this right.
Do you agree that religious employers should not be compelled to provide coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization?