Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

USCCB attorneys foresee legal action against ‘unjust and unlawful’ HHS mandate

Catholic World News - May 16, 2012

Attorneys for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reiterated that the HHS mandate “accommodation” offered to some religious employers is morally objectionable.

Responding to the Department of Health and Human Services’ request for public comment on the “accommodation,” the USCCB’s general counsel and associate general counsel stated that

the final rule continues to keep in place a regulation that defines as “preventive health care” drugs, devices, and procedures that render a woman temporarily or permanently infertile, and that may be associated with serious adverse health outcomes. We believe that this mandate is unjust and unlawful—it is bad health policy, and because it entails an element of government coercion against conscience, it creates a religious freedom problem. These moral and legal problems are compounded by an extremely narrow exemption that intrusively and unlawfully carves up the religious community into those that are deemed “religious enough” for an exemption, and those that are not.

Now, the ANPRM [Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] has invited comment on a promised future “accommodation” for some (but not all) non-exempt religious organizations—an “accommodation” that would still leave their plan premiums or plans (or both) as the source or conduit for the objectionable “services.” But the use of premiums and plans for that purpose is precisely what is morally objectionable, and having an insurer or third party administer the payments does not overcome the moral objection.

“We are convinced that no public good is served by this unprecedented nationwide mandate, and that forcing individual and institutional stakeholders to sponsor and subsidize an otherwise widely available product over their religious and moral objections serves no legitimate, let alone compelling, government interest,” the attorneys added. “Indeed, as stated in our August 2011 comments, such coercion is a serious violation of federal statutory and constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and rights of conscience.”

“Absent prompt congressional attention to this infringement on fundamental civil liberties, we believe the only remaining recourse, in light of the approaching regulatory deadlines, is in the courts.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($13,983 to go):
$35,000.00 $21,016.73
40% 60%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Eucharistic Adoration, a Sure Sign of Catholic Renewal 2 hours ago
The Mystery of Music, Part II 7 hours ago
Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18