Quantcast

HHS mandate still threatens religious freedom

Published: Monday, April 8 2013 2:10 p.m. MDT

Protesters stand outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse Friday, March 23, 2012 in Phoenix. during the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally. The rally is part of a nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom which is a reaction against the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate that will obligate Catholic organizations to provide contraceptive services to their employees.

Matt York, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Today is the last day to publicly comment on the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate, which would require all employers to provide insurance coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortion causing drugs.

According to Mary Ann Glendon in a column for The Washington Post, “Even those who embrace these drugs and procedures should recognize the mandate’s threat to religious liberty and consider filing a comment in opposition while there is still time.”

The reason: It appears that there are still major religious freedom problems with the mandate that interfere with rights of religious conscience.

According to Glendon, “the most recent rule does nothing for people of faith who run for-profit workplaces. The mandate continues to apply there without exception, or even the pretense of one. It is unconscionable for the federal government to force religious people to check their deeply held beliefs at the door as they enter the world of commerce. These days, our business sector needs to be informed by more moral reflection, not less.

“The latest proposal also maintains an absurdly narrow exemption for ‘religious employers,’ still omitting most institutions that are unmistakably ‘religious’ and unmistakably ‘employ’ people. Recent changes are only cosmetic. Even the proposed rule itself acknowledges that its changes would ‘not expand the universe’ of exempted employers beyond their original target, mainly ‘houses of worship.’”

Many have recognized the fundamental problem with the mandate. There are currently 53 civil rights lawsuits filed on behalf of over 160 plaintiffs, and the mandate has garnered more public comments “than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide,” according to Sunlight Foundation.

Email: mhartvigsen@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS