The Biden administration wants to throw out conscience protections for pro-life employers who object to covering drugs that may cause early abortions under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule that would no longer allow employers to seek an exemption from the Obamacare contraception mandate for moral reasons, the Catholic News Agency reports. If implemented, only religious employers could be exempted.
For most pro-lifers, the problem with the HHS mandate is that it requires employers to cover all forms of contraception, including types that can abort unborn babies early in pregnancy, in their employee health plans. For example, the owners of the craft store chain Hobby Lobby only objected to covering four of the more than 20 forms of contraception required under the mandate because those four may kill unborn babies in their earliest stage of life. The company sued the federal government and won.
“Students for Life of America does not take a position against birth control per se,” Kristi Hamrick of Students for Life told CNA in response to the new proposal. “We oppose forcing people to buy or fund drugs and devices against their beliefs, such as nuns, and we oppose forcing people to pretend that abortifacients mislabeled as contraception should also be paid for.”
Hamrick said the proposed rule also shows how the Biden administration is “ignoring Constitutional rights of conscience that should be protected.”
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Along with eliminating the exemption for moral reasons, the rule would create a new, independent pathway for employees and students of religious companies and colleges to get free contraception through Obamacare.
The “individual contraceptive arrangement” would direct these students and employees to a contraception provider and reimburse the provider for the service, independent of the employer or school, “by entering into an arrangement with an issuer on a Federally-facilitated Exchange or State Exchange on the Federal platform,” according to a press release from the department.
According to CNN, the department estimates about 100 employers and 125,000 employees would be affected by the new rule change.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said one of the Biden administration’s major goals is to expand access to contraception in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned.
“If this rule is finalized, individuals who have health plans that would otherwise be subject to the ACA preventive services requirements but have not covered contraceptive services because of a moral or religious objection, would now have access,” Brooks-LaSure said in a statement.
Before the Biden administration can implement it, the rule must go through a 60-day comment period, starting Feb. 2, according to CNA.
The Biden administration and Democrat leaders have been working aggressively to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions. Recently, Biden ended long-standing safety requirements for abortion drugs and began allowing pharmacies to sell them.
For nearly 50 years under Roe, abortions destroyed more than 64 million unborn babies in abortions. Only now that Roe has been overturned may states again protect the right to life for all human beings, born and unborn.
Two new polls show growing public support for legal protections for unborn babies. A Marist College poll found 69 percent of Americans support limiting or banning abortions, up from 62 percent in June. Another new poll from UMass Amherst found a 5-percent drop in those who say Congress should pass a law to make abortions legal nation-wide and a 6-percent increase in support for a national abortion ban, WCVB News reports.