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Congress Told HHS Mandate Fines Could Total $620,000
Life News ^ | February 28, 2012 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 03/03/2012 12:35:41 PM PST by NYer

Members of Congress heard from pro-life advocates today who told them in a hearing of the laundry list of problems associated with the new mandate the Obama administration put in place.

The mandate has drawn strong opposition from religious groups concerned that they would have to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions for their members or employees. Republicans in the House sought to bring light to that in a hearing entitled, “Executive Overreach: The HHS Mandate Versus Religious Liberty.”

Asma Uddin, an attorney with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, that “At the heart of this position, however, lies a profound misunderstanding about the nature of religion and the scope of constitutional protections for religious liberty.”

“Many religious individuals and organizations that have conscientious objections to abortion object to the use of Plan B and ella because they believe, and scientific evidence supports their belief, that these drugs constitute abortifacients. That is, Plan B and ella can prevent a human embryo, which these religious groups understand to include a fertilized egg before it implants in the uterus, from implanting in the wall of the uterus thereby causing the death of the embryo,” she explained.

Not only are the groups affected concerned about birth control and drugs like ella that can cause abortion, Uddin said, “The fines imposed on religious employers that refuse to violate their consciences are significant.”

“For example, a charitable organization with 100 employees will have to pay the federal government $140,000 per year for the “privilege” of not underwriting medical
services it believes are immoral,” she added.

“Given these coercive burdens on the religious freedom of organizations and individuals that hold religious beliefs against contraception and/or abortion, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has brought several lawsuits. The lawsuits, each of which make the same claims, are on behalf of (1) Belmont Abbey College (BAC), a Catholic liberal arts college founded by Benedictine monks; (2) Colorado Christian University (CCU), an interdenominational Christian college; (3) Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a television network that serves to spread Catholic teachings; and (4) Ave Maria University, a Catholic University dedicated to transmitting authentic Catholic values to students,” she continued. “For failing to comply by the Mandate, BAC would pay approximately $340,000 annually, CCU would pay $500,000; EWTN would pay $620,000; and Ave Maria close to $340,000.”

Thus far, the Administration has responded to only one of the four lawsuits, and fails to address in its brief any of the claims.

Jeanne Monahan, director of the Family Research Council’s (FRC) Center for Human Dignity, also testified before the panel.

“In a letter to the President and members of Congress recently signed by thousands of women of 18 different faiths and representing doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, mothers, community care workers, business owners, scholars and more women voiced their ardent opposition to the mandate,” she said. “The letter included these observations: ‘We listened to prominent women purport to speak for us. We watched them duck the fundamental religious-liberty issues at stake.”

Monahan continued, ” No one speaks for all women on these issues. Those who purport to do so are simply attempting to deflect attention from the serious religious liberty issues at stake. We call on President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and our representatives in Congress to respect religious voices, to respect religious liberty, and to allow religious institutions and individuals to continue to provide witness to their faiths in all their fullness.’”

“The contraceptive mandate is an unprecedented directive which deeply conflicts with religious and conscience freedom protections the American people currently receive. In our democratic society governed by the U.S. Constitution, it is not the role of this Administration to dictate what does or does not violate another person’s conscience on matters as critical as life and death. It is the job of the government to defend those rights, not trample them,” she said.

She concluded: “This Administration’s act of discrimination against people of faith, and women of faith, must be stopped. As C.S. Lewis said, you can be sincere, and sincerely wrong. We don’t question the President’s motives, but we think he is wrong. You may disagree with me, and think that I and the thousands of women like me are wrong. Fine, but do not discriminate against us and force us to violate our consciences. We urge you not to allow this President to discriminate against those with moral or religious objections to this mandate coverage of contraceptives, sterilization services, and abortifacients.”

Seven states have filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the controversial mandate the Obama administration put in place that has sparked strong opposition from pro-life groups because of its violations of religious liberty. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning started coordinating a lawsuit with other states attorney general recently. He led seven states in asking a federal judge to block the Obama administration mandate by filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Nebraska alleging that it violates the First Amendment rights of groups that object to the requirement to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.

He said it “unconstitutionally expands congressional authority and infringes upon individual liberty.”

Tell Obama: Stop This Pro-Abortion Mandate

A new national poll Rasmussen Reports conducted finds Americans oppose the Obama administration mandate requiring religious employers to pay for coverage for birth control (which also includes drugs that may cause early abortions).

This new survey follows a previous Rasmussen poll asking, “The requirement to provide contraceptives for women violates deeply held beliefs of some churches and religious organizations. If providing such coverage violates the beliefs of a church or religious organization, should the government still require them to provide coverage for contraceptives?”

Some 50 percent of those polled said no while 39 percent of Americans agreed.

Leading pro-life groups are pushing for an amendmentin the Senate to overturn the mandate.

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

Bruning has contacted each of his colleagues in 49 states and has already been joined by a dozen, including South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Together, the three lawmakers have co-signed a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis over the Obama mandate.

Also, the largest Catholic pro-life group and Catholic television station have filed suit against the new Obama mandate that forces religious employers like them to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs in employee health insurance. The EWTN Global Catholic Network filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government agencies seeking to stop the imposition of the anti-conscience mandate as well as asking the court for a declaratory judgment that the mandate is unconstitutional.

Priests for Life, a New York based international pro-life organization of Catholic clergy and laity, filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration in an effort to seek injunctive relief from impending regulations that would require the organization to pay for employee health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.

Late last week, the Obama administration asked a federal court to dismiss yet another lawsuit filed against the Obama administration over its mandate.

This was its first opportunity to explain to the court and the country why the mandate is not illegal and unconstitutional. The Obama administration did not defend the constitutionality of the mandate, but said the lawsuit should be thrown out because the administration plans to revise the mandate to make it on insurance companies to pay for coverage rather than employers, who will still have to make referrals.

This was its first opportunity to explain to the court and the country why the mandate is not illegal and unconstitutional. The Obama administration did not defend the constitutionality of the mandate, but said the lawsuit should be thrown out because the administration plans to revise the mandate to make it on insurance companies to pay for coverage rather than employers, who will still have to make referrals.

“Plaintiff’s challenge to the preventive services coverage regulations is not fit for judicial review because defendants [Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius] have indicated that they will propose and finalize changes to the regulations that are intended to accommodate plaintiff’s religious objections to providing contraception coverage,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote in its brief to the Washington, D.C. District Court.

Obama officials claim the mandate does not put forth any “immediate injury” to religious groups.

Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic university, says he thinks the Obama administrations argument will not stand up in court.

“It doesn’t argue that the mandate is legal; it doesn’t argue that the mandate is constitutional,” Goodrich said. “Instead, it begs the court to ignore the lawsuit because the government plans to change the mandate at some unspecified date in the future.”

“Apparently, the administration has decided that the mandate, as written and finalized, is constitutionally indefensible,” said Hannah Smith, senior counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty “Its only hope is to ask the court to look the other way based on an empty promise to possibly change the rules in the future.”

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.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry held a press conference with supporters of the bipartisan, bicameral Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. His legislation would protect the religious liberty and conscience rights of every American who objects to being forced by the strong-arm of government to pay for drugs and procedures recently mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Fortenberry bill currently has the support of approximately 220 Members of Congress and Senators, the most strongly-supported legislative remedy to the controversial HHS mandate. This measure would repeal the controversial mandate, amending the 2010 health care law to preserve conscience rights for religious institutions, health care providers, and small businesses who pay for health care coverage.

H.R. 1179 enjoys the endorsements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, and other organizations. Numerous other organizations, including the Christian Medical Association and Family Research Council, have urged support of the bill.

Sen. Roy Blunt, a pro-life Missouri Republican, is putting forward the Blunt Amendment, #1520, again, and it is termed the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. According to information provided to LifeNews from pro-life sources on Capitol Hill, the Blunt Amendment will be the first amendment voted on when the Senate returns to the transportation bill. The amendment would allow employers to decline coverage of services in conflict with religious beliefs.

Republicans are moving swiftly with legislation, amendments, and potential hearings on the mandatethe Obama administration has put in place that forces religious employers to pay for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees.

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.

Meanwhile, the Republican presidential candidates had been taking verbal swings at Obama for imposing the original mandate on religious employers, which is not popular in the latest public opinion poll and which even some Democrats oppose.

Congressman Steve Scalise has led a bipartisan letter with 154 co-signers calling on the Obama Administration to reverse its mandate forcing religious organizations to include drugs that can cause abortion and birth control in the health care plans of their employees.

The original mandate was so egregious that even the normally reliably liberal and pro-abortion USA Today condemned it in an editorial titled, “Contraception mandate violates religious freedom.”

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.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: abortion; bhofascism; catholic; democrats; elections; hhs; liberalfascism; mandate; nobama2012; obama; obamacare

1 posted on 03/03/2012 12:35:48 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!

2 posted on 03/03/2012 12:36:39 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

Barack Obama has made his decision, now let him enforce it!

3 posted on 03/03/2012 12:46:27 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
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To: NYer

It does not apply to Moslem facilities.

So they are they future, America.

4 posted on 03/03/2012 12:47:26 PM PST by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Diogenesis
It does not apply to Moslem facilities. Was that info in this article?
5 posted on 03/03/2012 1:24:59 PM PST by ColdOne (I miss my poochie... Tasha 2000~3/14/11)
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To: NYer
“For example, a charitable organization with 100 employees will have to pay the federal government $140,000 per year for the “privilege” of not underwriting medical services it believes are immoral,” she added.

That $1400 per employee is the total fine. That is, the ENTIRE fine for NOT carrying employee insurance at all.

ASSUMING a standard $4000 per employee for health insurance - this equates to a $260,000 SAVINGS, should the organization decide NOT to provide insurance ...

Way to go Obama - FORCE the organization to have its insurer provide contraception coverage. AND what do you get - NO INSURANCE for ALL of its employees ...

6 posted on 03/03/2012 1:30:59 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56

No, those employees get dumped into the government “exchanges”, which is what the Left wants.

7 posted on 03/03/2012 2:22:32 PM PST by ConjunctionJunction
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To: NYer

Probably already spent twice as much in anticipation

8 posted on 03/03/2012 2:39:26 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: ColdOne

Secretary Sebellius new rules..

Charity is exempt if it has a religious purpose and serves only members of that faith.

Muslims are exempt because they discriminate against non-Muslims. Christian charities have long since stopped doing that.


9 posted on 03/03/2012 2:41:26 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL

So stupid. Why does it matter if they serve non christians. Do women seeking abortion go to Catholic Charities or do they go to an abortion facility. Everyone is free in this country to work where they want to work. If free contraception and abortions is the most important thing to them, they can get a job with an employer that provides them. If they don’t get free contraception, big deal. Pay for it themselves. Seriously, are working women having a hard time paying for contraception??

10 posted on 03/03/2012 4:25:51 PM PST by No Socialist
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To: No Socialist

No one was having a problem paying for contraception but the Demcrat left are past masters at creating ‘controversies’ and conflict by offering free stuff. It is political warfare after all.

11 posted on 03/03/2012 6:11:56 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: All
Obama Risks $100 Billion If Catholic Hospitals Close
Catholic bishops exhort faithful to oppose Obamacare in a Sunday message
Congress Told HHS Mandate Fines Could Total $620,000
Cardinal Dolan blasts White House contraception plan as 'freedom of religion battle'
The Coming Persecution (a priest's projection on what is to come if Obama re-elected)
The HHS Mandate: Cardinal George and the Bishops Are Fighting the Last War (Excellent Analysis)
Cardinal Dolan indicates possible legal actions; rebuffs "cave-in" Catholics
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Biden: We 'Screwed up' Contraception Mandate
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The Catholic Diaspora and the Tragedy of Liberal Catholicism
A sermon explaining what Pres. Obama is doing.
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Catholic Bishop's Prez: Our Rights Don’t Depend on Obama
Obama's defense of religion {Mega BARF-Alert - talk about spin...}
Contraception and the Culture War [Deepening Catholic-Evangelical Relationship]
Cardinal Timothy Dolan issues strongest statement yet against the HHS mandate
Clergy Declare State of Emergency for Churches Over Obama Demands
Father, We're Ready for that Homily on Contraception Now
Contraception, Against Conscience [Why EWTN Will Not Comply With Obama's Mandate]
Bishops Decry Obama birth Control Plan, Yet Catholic Hospitals Report Sterilizations
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Obama Responds to Belmont Abbey Lawsuit. Epic Fail.
Catholic Charities Insists it has not Endorsed HHS Mandate
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Archbishop Chaput: It’s not a ‘compromise,’ and it needs to be rescinded
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BREAKING: Every Single Bishop Has Condemned the Obama/HHS Mandate!
Pro-life nuns: We’re not exempt - Obama mandate would force us ‘to pay for abortion-inducing drugs’

Contraception ruling: Democrats accuse clergy of complicity with GOP at hearing
Catholic League on Sebelius’s admission before a Senate committee
Voris: Obama Able to Neutralize Catholic Resistance Thanks to Bishops’ Past Complicity
Abortion, Contraception and the Church Fathers (Catholic teaching unchanged for 2000 yrs)
Head of U.S. bishops: Obama compromise on mandate ‘a hill of beans’; opposition intensifies
USCCB President: 'Harder and Harder' to Accept Obama's Word
White House Criticizes Bishops, Trumpets Support from CHA, Catholic Charities
Political Science 101: how the White House snookered the USCCB on the 'compromise'
What Did CHA's Carol Keehan Know and When Did She Know It?
Pope Shares Remarks on American Culture with Bishops; Issues Call to Laity By: Msgr. Charles Pope
USCCB President says Obama offered next to nothing; expresses disappointment with Sr. Keehan
Evangelical Leaders Call for Civil Disobedience Against U.S. Government
Liberal Jews Speak Against HHS Mandate
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HHS Mandate - Nothing Has Changed (Donald Cardinal Weurl)
Obama Chief of Staff: New Pro-Abortion Mandate Here to Stay
WH: We Are Done Negotiating With Catholics
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Did the Leaders of the Catholic Church Make a Deal with the Redistributionist Devil?
Archbishop Chaput: HHS mandate insulting and dangerous
Cardinal-Designate Dolan no longer trusts Obama
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Notre Dame Faculty to Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’
White House: No More Compromise on Contraception
Obama's anti-religious implosion
Lew: Obama's latest stance on birth-control mandate final, puts issue to rest (CAPTION)
Pat Buchanan: 'Obama is trampling on God's turf' (Video)
W.H. official: Contraceptive rule stands
Obama chief of staff: No more compromise, contraceptive rule is done deal
Bishops Reject White House’s New Plan on Contraception (Obama continues his "War On Religion")
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Chuck Colson Reacts to Obama’s “Compromise” on Required Abortion Care for Church Employees
US Bishops: Obama's 'Compromise' Has No Clear Protection...(Needless Government Intrusion)
Protests Continue Over Insurance for Contraception, Abortifacients (Feds Under Increasing Pressure
Bishops to Obama: No dice
Paul VI: “danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities ...”
Michael Moore Goes On Anti-Catholic Twitter Rant, Distorts Contraception Debate
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Hannity on now with Priests, Pastors and Rabbis. Please watch
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U.S. bishops ‘express concerns’ about Obama mandate ‘accommodation’
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Don't Be Deceived! Evil Obama Policy Now Even MORE Evil!
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(Exempt Catholics) Joe Biden, Bill Daley warned of contraceptive backlash
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Boehner: Congress to overturn birth control policy if Obama does not reverse course
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The Bishops Chickens Coming Home to Roost.
65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate
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Churches balk at birth control rule - Catholics won’t comply, Bishop Kevin Rhoades says
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An Open Letter to President Barack Obama Concerning Recent Tyranny (With Pictures!)
Lincoln bishop: prepare for 'suffering' under HHS mandate
Bishop David Zubik confronts Obama
Obama’s ‘war on the church’

Pope hits out at 'radical secularism'
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
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Letter from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Bishop Olmsted's Letter to Catholics [Catholic Caucus]
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Phoenix bishop (Olmstead): defy feds on birth control
A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr concerning HHS edict
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Bishop [Daniel Jenky] Blasts Secularist Intolerance, Calls For ‘Assertive Action’ to Defend Church
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OBAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors’ group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say

12 posted on 03/03/2012 8:34:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

Are we really naive enough to believe these clowns need to have a hearing to figure out this whole mess is unconstitutional?

13 posted on 03/04/2012 12:00:48 AM PST by itsahoot (I will write in Palin, if Romney is on the ticket. Fair warning to the E-Pubs.)
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