The pro-abortion mandate that is a part of Obamacare marks its one-year anniversary today — forcing religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions. Enforcement of the mandate is expected to begin in January.
The mandate went into effect last year on August 1 and the very minimal religious protections were set to go into effect today, but they will be implemented and enforcement will take place starting on January 1.
Matt Smith, President of Catholic Advocate, lamented the anniversary of the mandate in an email to LifeNews.
“This is more than unacceptable; it’s un-American. But Congress failed to act when we lobbied them to institute conscience protections legislation and only President Obama can prevent this destructive mandate from going into effect…but we both know that will never happen,” he said.
“We owe it to ourselves and our fellow Americans of faith to do whatever we can do try to reverse this historic attack on religious liberty. And more importantly, we owe it to future generations to make sure an attack like this can never happen again by passing conscience protections legislation immediately,” he said.
Kristan Hawkins, the head of Students for Life of America, also condemned today’s anniversary.
“Today, August 1st, is the Obama administration’s original deadline to force all religious employers to comply with their abortion-drug (HHS) mandate,” she said.
Hawkins said “many folks don’t know what’s happening today and that has been done on purpose. Over the past two years, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have purposely made everything about the abortion-drug (HHS) mandate and $1 abortion surcharge mandate confusing.”
“When Obamacare was passed, it gave the Department of Health and Human Services, led by an extreme abortion supporter – Kathleen Sebelius – the ability to decide what services and prescriptions must be covered by all insurance companies across America. They labeled pregnancy as a “preventable disease” therefore requiring that chemical contraception be covered by all insurance carriers,” she explained. “This decision went against many American’s pro-life and religious beliefs because we know chemical contraception can cause early abortions (especially drugs like the morning after pill, Plan B) and has been proven to cause breast cancer, and has been labeled as a Type 1 carcinogen (just like cigarettes) by the World Health Organization.”
“Immediately, religious employers like Catholic hospitals and schools and private businesses led by Christians, opposed this abortion-drug (HHS) mandate. President Obama and his administration have fought these employers every step of the way declaring that providing abortion-causing drugs to female employees and the daughters of employees does not violate an employer’s conscience,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins concluded: “This June, President Obama’s administration said that they would “compromise” by delaying, for the second-time, the August 1, 2013 enforcement of this abortion-drug mandate until January 1, 2014. Incidentally, this is the same day that many Americans will start paying (without a choice) $1 a month from their insurance premiums to go into an abortion slush fund – remember this was the Obama administration’s “compromise” to pass Obamacare that abortion didn’t have to be in every insurance plan, just that insurance carriers had to pay $1 per person, out of their collected revenues from you and I, enrolled in their exchange plans each month into an abortion fund.”
Earlier this month, a federal court granted Hobby Lobby a preliminary injunction against the HHS abortion-drug mandate. The injunction prevents the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate against the Christian company, which does not want to be compelled to pay for birth control or drugs that may cause abortions.
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“The tide has turned against the HHS mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for Hobby Lobby. “This is a major victory for not only Hobby Lobby, but the religious liberty of all for-profit businesses.”
Duncan says there are now 63 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate. The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.
The most recent polling data from December 2012 shows Americans support a religious exemption to the mandate.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article indicated the mandate went into effect today, rather than saying the mandate was marking its anniversary today.