HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > HHS Revision of Contraception and Abortion-Inducing Drugs Mandate Solves Little

HHS Revision of Contraception and Abortion-Inducing Drugs Mandate Solves Little

In apparent recognition that last year’s rulemaking requiring almost all new health plans to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs is in conflict with the faith values of many Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed a modified “religious employer” exemption and a new “accommodation” for certain other non-profit religious organizations. Unfortunately, the slight broadening of the already very narrow exemption to “integrated auxiliaries” of churches and denominations does not help many religious organizations and individuals.  Also, the “accommodation,” which has been referred to as an “accounting gimmick” by pro-family observers, explicitly excludes for-profit organizations, including businesses like Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby, a chain of more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states, could face federal fines of $1.3 million per day for its refusal to violate its conscience by complying with this mandate.

Last summer, when the current mandate came into effect, HHS celebrated the day as a victory for women, but noted, “The Obama administration will continue to work with all employers to give them the flexibility and resources they need to implement the health care law in a way that protects women’s health while making common-sense accommodations for values like religious liberty.” In a blog post, Amy Payne and Sarah Torre of the Heritage Foundation responded, “Religious liberty is a fundamental right guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution, not a mere ‘value’ whose worth is subject to devaluation by any given Administration’s policy.”

HHS is accepting comments on its new proposal for 60 days after its official publication.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations

Published: February 8, 2013

Latest News

Congressional Leadership Updates

Last week, Members of Congress returned to Washington for the first time since the momentous mid-term elections on November 4.

Abedini Spotlighted as Iran Negotiations Continue

With nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States approaching their November 24 deadline, Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)...

Congressman Dingell to Receive Medal of Freedom

Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving Member of Congress in U.S. history and a former Chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Monday.

New STELA Bill Approved by Congress

With provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) set to sunset at the end of this year, the Congress this week introduced a new version of a bill to extend that law for another five years and then fast-tracked its approval.

Passes to the NRB 2015 Exposition Are Free; Register Today!

The NRB Exposition is the largest marketplace dedicated to Christian media professionals. And in case you haven’t heard yet, there is no charge for entering the Exhibit Hall at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Early Bird Rates for NRB15 Registration Extended to Nov. 30

Due to popular demand, the Early Bird discounted rate for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention has been extended through Sunday, November 30, 2014.

NRB Against Internet Power Grab

President Barack Obama released a statement this week urging the FCC to “implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”

North Korea Releases American Missionary

After over two years of detention, the communist regime in North Korea released Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, along with another U.S. citizen, Matthew Todd Miller.

March for Life Wants Pastors to Come to Washington

Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, has reached out to pastors nationwide inviting them to come with members of their congregations to Washington, DC, in January for the annual pro-life march.

Pew Report Shows Growing Use of Online Media by Voters

A survey released by the Pew Research Center revealed that Americans are relying more and more on mobile phones and social media for learning election news and information.

More News