This is a call for action: our freedom of conscience is under attack. Tuesday, June 19th is the FINAL DEADLINE to submit public comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stating that you oppose its anti-life mandate that forces nearly all insurance plans to cover life-ending drugs and devices—including the abortion-inducing drug ella.
Your IMMEDIATE ACTION is needed to let HHS know it must revoke its unprecedented, coercive guidelines and comprehensively protect freedom of conscience.
Polls show that more Americans oppose the HHS mandate than support it and that the majority of Americans support conscience exemptions. However, the Obama Administration has refused to listen. Rather than provide comprehensive conscience protections, in the Advance Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), HHS reiterates that it is committed to the coercive mandate. The conscience “accommodation” it suggests is a sham. Employers with conscientious objections are still required to facilitate insurance plans with life-ending drugs coverage.
There exists no “compromise” or “accommodation” when it comes to constitutionally protected First Amendment rights. Tell HHS today to stop coercing Americans into paying for life-ending drugs and devices that violate their religious beliefs or moral or ethical convictions. Demand that HHS protect Americans’ freedom of conscience.
Make sure HHS hears your voice by following these simple steps by the June 19th deadline:
- Click here to submit a comment.
- In the Comment box, include your comment. (You may copy and paste the suggested text below or provide your own comments.)
- Click “Submit.”
Suggested text for your Comment:
The ANPRM’s “accommodation” does not protect conscience. Employers are required to facilitate objectionable insurance coverage or be subject to a penalty. Even self-insured plans cannot avoid participating in the morally offensive mandate.
The ANPRM fails to consider all “interested stakeholders.” An exemption (not an insufficient “accommodation”) must include non-religiously affiliated conscientious objectors. The First Amendment is neither confined to houses of worship nor to those who run them. Multiple lawsuits have been filed, demonstrating that the mandate violates for-profit employers’ consciences. All Americans with religious, moral, or ethical objections must be exempted from the mandate.
Similarly, the “temporary enforcement safe harbor” is too limited in whom it protects. Placing an expiration date on the freedom of conscience is an unacceptable denial of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Moreover, the “safe harbor” suggestion illustrates that HHS is capable of broadening the category of those permitted an exemption and of extending its self-imposed deadline for imposing the mandate (August 2012).
The ANPRM fails to redress the inappropriate inclusion of life-ending drugs in the HRSA guidelines. Sen. Mikulski, author of the preventive services provision, assured that abortion would not be mandated “in any way.” ella, like the abortion drug RU-486, is a selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM) and can kill a human embryo after implantation. Including ella exceeds the discretion HRSA was granted under the healthcare law in determining what constitutes “preventive services.”
Polling shows that strong majorities support conscience exemptions and that more Americans oppose than support the mandate.
The suggestions of the ANPRM are not sufficient or timely. HHS must take immediate action to revoke the inappropriate, coercive guidelines and comprehensively protect freedom of conscience.