WASHINGTON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In comments filed today with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Family Research Council (FRC) expressed strong opposition to the HHS and Obama administration's "contraceptive mandate" which forces all health insurance plans to include abortifacient drugs and contraceptives. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to which FRC's comments respond would do nothing to expand religious freedom.
Jeanne Monahan, director of FRC's Center for Human Dignity, made the following statement:
"Family Research Council strongly opposes the February 10 rule mandating drugs and services which violate the moral and religious tenets of many Americans. The accounting gimmicks HHS is now considering under the ANPRM still do not satisfy the religious freedom protections that exist in current law.
"The ANPRM does not expand religious freedom; it does nothing to change the final rule. HHS is still demanding that religious employers violate their beliefs by paying for insurance plans that offer, for free, the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives. This mandate includes drugs and devices with mechanisms of action that can destroy rather than prevent life.
"Regardless of whether the insurance company or third party administrators use their dollars for an employee's free abortifacients, the provision of these drugs and devices still necessarily depend on the religious employer's health insurance plan. Therefore, the HHS mandate still violates the Religious Freedom Act, and the Weldon conscience amendment which bans HHS from engaging in precisely this type of discrimination.
"The mandate does not protect women's health. Rather, it threatens it by forcing religious employers into the untenable choice of violating their conscience or dropping health coverage for families and women they employ. Since HHS and the Obama administration appear to be unwilling to protect religious liberty, Congress must act again to preserve the constitutional right of religious freedom," concluded Monahan.
Click here to access the Family Research Council's comments filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Last February, more than 2,500 religious leaders from across the country signed a letter in opposition to the HHS mandate.