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Religious Freedom website: www.firstamericanfreedom
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Support Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
The Obama Administration's contraceptive/abortifacient/sterilization mandate began to be enforced against nonprofit religious schools, charities and health care providers on January 1, 2014. Congress must address this problem without delay. Members should be urged to co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204) and work for its approval as part of 'must-pass' bills or other legislation.
Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including drugs and procedures that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. These objectionable items include sterilization, FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, “morning-after” pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and “education and counseling” to promote these to all “women of reproductive capacity,” including minor girls.
Under the final rule released by HHS on June 28, 2013, the mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer,” chiefly aimed at what HHS calls “houses of worship.” Other religious organizations offering education, health care and charitable services do not qualify for the exemption. The mandate begins to be enforced against them January 1, 2014, under an “accommodation” that only changes the way the objectionable items must be provided to all employees and their dependents. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, for non-religious pro-life organizations, or for businesses owned and operated by families with moral or religious objections.
For more information on religious liberty and conscience rights, see: www.usccb.org/conscience.
ACTION: Stand in solidarity with our Bishops in defense of our religious freedom and conscience rights by:
1. Committing yourself to prayer and fasting "that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored" and
2. Calling your 2 U.S. Senators and Representative (click here to send e-mail) and urge them to take action to protect conscience rights and religious liberty! (Additional Congressional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.)
MESSAGE: Please co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940), and include it in upcoming ‘must-pass’ legislation. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or purchase health coverage.Please co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204) and work for its approval as part of 'must-pass' legislation or other bills. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or purchase health coverage.
Don't know who represents you? Click here to find your U.S. Senators and Representative.
|1/26/12 Letter from Bishop Kevin J. Farrell to All Dallas Diocese Catholics
"My brother bishops and I cannot—will not—comply with this unjust law."
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Catholic Church in the United States and strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. . . .
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees' health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those "services" in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies. . . .
In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, . . . [and] denies us as Catholics our nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. Read entire letter here. (en español)
All U.S. Dioceses have issued statements in opposition to the HHS Mandate. Links to statements and articles below:
- US Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Texas Catholic Conference
- North Texas Bishops (Dallas & Fort Worth)
- Other Texas Bishops
- Additional Statements by Bishops
- Cardinal-designate Edwin O’Brien, Archdiocese of Baltimore
- Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archdiocese of Boston
- Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archdiocese of Washington DC
- Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Archdiocese of Atlanta
- Archbishop William Lori, Archdiocese of Baltimore (Homily at Dallas Red Mass)
- Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Archdiocese of Detroit
- Archbishop Jose Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
- Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archdiocese of New Orleans
- Archbishop George H. Niederauer, Archdiocese of San Francisco
- Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Arlington Diocese
- Bishop William E. Lori, Bridgeport Diocese
- Bishop Walter E. Hurley, Grand Rapids Diocese
- Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, Harrisburg Diocese
- Bishop R. Daniel Conlan, Joilet Diocese
- Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Lincoln Diocese
- Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Phoenix Diocese
- Bishop David A. Zubik, Pittsburgh Diocese
- Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Raleigh Diocese and Bishop Peter J. Jugis, Charlotte Diocese,
- Bishop Leonard P. Blair, Toledo Diocese
- Bishop Michael Jackels, Diocese of Wichita
- More statements
Abortions in the U.S.
So far today:
Since Jan. 22, 1973: