Catholic World News

‘6 things everyone should know about the HHS mandate’

February 07, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has released a statement that offers “clarifications regarding the Health and Human Services regulations on mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.”

The USCCB discusses how

  • “The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals”
  • “The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral”
  • “The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception”
  • “Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate”
  • “Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate”
  • “The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates”

In discussing the last point, for example, the USCCB notes:

HHS chose the narrowest state-level religious exemption as the model for its own.That exemption was drafted by the ACLU and exists in only 3 states (New York, California, Oregon).Even without a religious exemption, religious employers can already avoid the contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their prescription drug coverage, dropping that coverage altogether, or opting for regulation under a federal law (ERISA) that pre-empts state law.The HHS mandate closes off all these avenues of relief.


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