Democrats for Life of America
Protecting. Strengthening. Re-building.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristen Day
DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE URGES FURTHER ACCOMMODATIONS ON CONTRACEPTION MANDATE
Definition of Religious Employer Must be Expanded
Washington, DC - June 20, 2012- Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding its recent contraception rule, and urged the Department to further clarify protections for the conscience rights of individuals and organizations who object to contraception and potentially abortifacient drugs.
"The passage of the ACA was successful due to the support of DFLA and pro-life Democrats who supported passage of the bill after the President assured, through the Executive Order, that conscience rights would be protected and no funding would be used for abortion," said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats For Life. "The HHS needs to respect the promise made by the President."
Late last year, the Obama Administration issued a narrowly-worded rule mandating that health insurance plans provide free contraception to the insured. There was legitimate concern about the mandate including drugs that cause abortion. After pressure from pro-life Democrats, the Administration agreed to seek further protections for those who oppose abortion, but new accommodations have not gone far enough to protect conscience rights. Recently, the Catholic Hospital Association (CHA), who like DFLA supported the ACA, also issued comments opposing the narrow definition.
"The religious organizations that are at the center of the contraception debate are in many cases the very same organizations who are helping the sick, the needy, and the poor," said Day. "We recognize the Administration's goal to provide free contraception, but it could be done without compromising the rights of religious-based organizations who oppose abortion. The clearest and best path is to apply one of the many current and tested statutes that provides conscience protection to those organizations whose charitable or educational activities are deeply religiously motivated."
In addition to further accommodations, DFLA offered that if the Administration wants to provide free contraception to women, they should pursue options that do not infringe on the religious liberty of organizations and individuals.