On October 12, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a statement in response to the shameful HHS Mandate lie that VP Joe Biden told during his debate with Congressman Paul Ryan.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate forces virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees.
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.
For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”: www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/upload/comments-on-advance-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking-on-preventive-services-12-05-15.pdf
A Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will take place Saturday, October 20 at noon your local time. It will be the third nationwide rally this year – the first two Stand Up Rallies were held on March 23 and June 8.
This peaceful, nationwide event, the third of its kind, will protest the HHS Mandate and other attacks on religious freedom coming from the federal government, especially during this critical election year.
What to expect at the Stand Up Rally
Each of the October 20 Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies is being locally sponsored and organized, so no two are quite alike. However, you can expect to see colorful signs and banners at the Rally, hear inspiring speeches about fighting the current attacks on religious freedom like the HHS Mandate and join in hymns and prayers for our nation.
For more specific details on your local Rally, look for information below. You may also wish to contact your local Rally Captain (see link below) if you have additional questions.
Don’t see a Rally in a nearby city? Sign your city up!
If you don’t see a city near you on the list below, consider signing on to be a Rally Captain. Just fill out this form, and the Stand Up Rally Team will be in touch with all the information you need.
Be there or be square.