BACKGROUND: On January 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reaffirmed a rule under the new health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), that virtually all private health care plans must cover sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception. The rule is set to take effect August 1, 2012. Non-profit religious employers that do not now provide such coverage, and are not exempt under the rule’s extremely narrow definition of religious employer, will be given one year—until August 1, 2013—to comply.
Mandated services include sterilization, all 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 among all “women of reproductive capacity.”
To correct this threat to religious liberty and rights of conscience, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act has been introduced in Congress (H.R. 1179, S. 1467). This measure will ensure that those who participate in the health care system “retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.”
For more information, see: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm
ACTION: It is more important than ever that Members of Congress be urged to co-sponsor this measure. By clicking the link below, you can send an electronic message to your U.S. Representative urging him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 1179 and to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson urging him to co-sponsor S. 1467.
Note: Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Sandy Adams (District 24), Ander Crenshaw (District 4), Jeff Miller (District 1), Tom Rooney (District 16) and Dennis Ross (District 12) are already co-sponsors of the measure. If you are in the district of any of these Representatives, a thank you message will be sent when clicking below. A thank you will also be sent to Senator Rubio.
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