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Coats to Obama: Rescind Contraceptive Rule Immediately

February 8, 2012
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02/09/12 Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama urging him to rescind his administration’s rule under the health care law requiring church-affiliated organizations, charities, hospitals and educational institutions to provide and pay for insurance coverage that includes contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs despite moral objections.

In a letter to President Obama, Coats writes:

“As a result of your administration’s ruling, faith-based institutions, such as the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, are forced to either abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith and pay for health insurance that covers abortion inducing drugs and sterilization procedures or refuse to comply and pay a penalty.  Whatever you think of their beliefs, forcing such a choice on any organization or individual is a blatant assault on their right of conscience and a clear violation of religious freedom.”

Click here to watch Coats’ speech on the Senate floor.

 

The full letter follows:

Dear Mr. President:

I write today to request that you rescind the final rule recently announced by the Department of Health and Human Services relating to Coverage of Preventive Services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  On January 20, 2012, your administration announced that it would not expand the definition of a “religious employer” to exempt all faith-based institutions from the mandate to provide contraceptive services established under PPACA. While I understand the final rule does allow for a one-year delay in implementation for non-profit organizations that do not currently cover contraception, I believe this mandate is an egregious violation of both the deeply held religious convictions of millions of Americans and the right of religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment.

As a result of your administration’s ruling, faith-based institutions, such as the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, are forced to either abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith and pay for health insurance that covers abortion inducing drugs and sterilization procedures or refuse to comply and pay a penalty.  Whatever you think of their beliefs, forcing such a choice on any organization or individual is a blatant assault on their right of conscience and a clear violation of religious freedom.

The decisions required by this rule extend beyond a single religious denomination.  A wide variety of religious institutions and organizations will resist providing insurance coverage for birth control.  The one-year delay in enforcement is simply not an acceptable solution and does not address the clear constitutional violation.

Furthermore, I fear that these types of federal actions will threaten the good work being done by faith-based groups, nonprofits, hospitals and charities. This administration should be fostering a stronger relationship with these organizations – especially during these tough economic times when so many are hurting across the country – rather than forcing Americans to compromise their faith.

Religious liberty – a core American principle – has been sustained for over 200 years and must continue to be protected.  I urge you to withdraw this ruling and extend the religious employer exemption to any entity, employer or individual that has a moral or religious objection to ensure that religious and conscience freedoms are preserved.

Sincerely,

Dan Coats

United States Senator

 

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3 Responses to “ Coats to Obama: Rescind Contraceptive Rule Immediately ”

  1. fallcol on February 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    This whole thing is ridiculous, 28 states already require contraceptives to be covered by all employers and some don’t even give exemptions to places of worship, including Georgia. (good to know Indiana is less progressive than Georgia) If you’re a church, mosque synagogue etc, you don’t have to cover this in your health insurance plans, its only when you start a business in the private sector that you’re required, which I think is long overdue. If the President wanted to make substantial progress, he should end tax exemption for churches, given how often they tend to be involved openly in politics. The loud noise coming from those being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, is getting very annoying.

  2. Andrew on February 9, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Ann,

    Putting aside the long debate over woman’s health issues — this issue could threaten other areas of our life that I am sure you probably never considered. It is often the case that people too focused on a particularly small aspect loose sight of the bigger picture — to the detriment of everybody involved.

    There has been and probably will be other methods for these services to be obtained (eg Planned Parenthood). Why must the government be telling faith based organizations that they must do something that is morally abhorrent?

    People standing on the corner screaming RIGHTS! need to consider also the rights of others besides themselves. Perhaps this is something that has been lost on this generation of ME people or indeed I-people.

  3. AnnF on February 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Dear Sen. Coats,

    You have my permission to go off “the pill.”

    Sincerely,

    Ann