97% of Comments on Obama Mandate Oppose HHS Requirement
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 5/3/12 6:31 PM
More than 97 percent of Americans submitting official comments to the Obama administration over its new mandate requiring religious groups to purchase birth control and drugs that may cause abortions for their employees opposed it.
Regulations.gov released the first round of public comments on the proposed mandate yesterday and Lachlan Markay of the Heritage Foundation reports that the comments were overwhelmingly opposed to the measure — with only 3 percent of the 211 comments supporting it.
The vast majority of the comments submitted focus on the mandate’s violation of Americans’ right of conscience, while a few discuss the health hazards of the medical procedures the mandate covers, and some call for full Obamacare repeal.
“As a Democrat, I will vote Republican if religious freedom is not protected and respected,” said one commenter, who identified herself as Arlene from Colorado.
An anonymous commenter from Missouri insisted that the mandate constitutes “a religious freedoms issue, not a women’s issue.”
Of course the fundamental problem with the anti-conscience mandate is not just that it’s unpopular, but that it violates the law. The First Amendment protects Americans’ religious and moral freedoms, a fact that the Department of Health and Human Services does not appear to have taken into account in formulating the rule.
The new Obama mandate that requires religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions for their employees could result in fines as much as $2,000 per employeeor $100 each day if they refuse to comply.Despite a vote in the Senate against overturning it, nation’s Catholic bishops and leading pro-life groups vow to continue fighting the Obama mandate that forces religious employers to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortion.
The mandate has already become the subject of several lawsuits. Meanwhile, more than a dozen state attorneys general have signed onto a joint letter Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning started coordinating against the controversial Obama mandate requiring religious employers to cover birth control and drugs that can cause abortions.
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The panel that put together the mandate has been condemned for only having pro-abortion members even though polling shows Americans are opposed to the mandate.
More than 50 members of Congress banded together at a press conference to demand legislation to stop the new mandate pro-abortion President Barack Obama put in place forcing religious employers to pay for insurance coverage including birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying Obama’s revised mandate involves “needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions” and it urged Congress to overturn the rule and promised a potential lawsuit.
The administration initially approved a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine suggesting that it force insurance companies to pay for birth control and drugs that can cause abortions under the Obamacare government-run health care program.
The IOM recommendation, opposed by pro-life groups, called for the Obama administration to require insurance programs to include birth control — such as the morning after pill or the ella drug that causes an abortion days after conception — in the section of drugs and services insurance plans must cover under “preventative care.” The companies will likely pass the added costs on to consumers, requiring them to pay for birth control and, in some instances, drug-induced abortions of unborn children in their earliest days.
The HHS accepted the IOM guidelines that “require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services” and those services include “FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling” — which include birth control drugs like Plan B and ella that can cause abortions. The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute, which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.