Hopefully everyone heard about the contraception mandate this week at their local parishes. Whether it was in your bulletin, your priest preached about it, or your bishop wrote about it in your weekly paper, the USCCB has asked your priests and bishops to speak about it. Time is running out.
If you didn’t hear about it, I’m here to spread the word. (Fellow bloggers, please do the same!)
From my own bishops’ letter:
In early August of this year, a ruling by officials of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was rendered which requires most companies offering health insurance to include as a part of their coverages treatments and procedures that provide for sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including some that can cause an abortion.
This is an ominous and very troubling development.
Historically, individuals and organizations offering health insurance could tailor their policy to exclude those provisions and procedures that were in conflict with the moral values embraced and adhered to by them. No more, according to this ruling.
In effect, this means that all entities and organizations of the Catholic Church providing insurance to employees would be required to cooperate in medical choices that are diametrically opposed to our moral values, which recognize that life is a gift from God to be welcomed, cherished and protected.
There is a “religious exception clause,” but it is so narrow that “Jesus himself couldn’t pass muster.” To fit the exemption a religious organization “must primarily serve and hire persons who share their religious tenets and restrict their charitable efforts to the inculcation of religious values.”
Ridiculous. So to fit the exemption, we need to stop ministering to the poor unless those poor happen to be Catholic? We need to stop teaching the youth, unless those youth are Catholic? We need to stop feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked… unless those people are Catholic?
We only have until September 30th to make public comments on this mandate. The USCCB has a nice bulletin insert to give you all the information without overwhelming you: see here.
Our religious liberty has been threatened for a long time, but this is the most blatant threat in a long time. It’s time to act.
Please, please, please email the US Department of Health and Human Services and your Congressmen. To make it as easy possible, I’ve put the links below. They even draft the email for you. There’s no reason not to do this — your only three clicks away from sending the message.
If you’re hesitating, think of me. My employer will no longer be able to provide health insurance for me if this goes into effect. There are probably many people you know who are in a similar situation.
Contact the HHS regarding the Contraceptive Mandate:
Contact your members of Congress regarding the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act: