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  • Public Comments Overwhelmingly Oppose HHS Anti-Conscience Mandate

    Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

    The federal website Regulations.gov released the first round of public comments on the administration’s proposed anti-conscience mandate on Wednesday. The comments were overwhelmingly opposed to the measure: out of 211 comments submitted, only six, less than 3%, offered support for the mandate.

    The mandate would require all organizations that offer health insurance to facilitate coverage of contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, even if such drugs violate those organizations’ religious or moral beliefs.

    The vast majority of the comments submitted focus on the mandate’s violation of Americans’ right of conscience, while a few discuss the health hazards of the medical procedures the mandate covers, and some call for full Obamacare repeal.

    “As a Democrat, I will vote Republican if religious freedom is not protected and respected,” said one commenter, who identified herself as Arlene from Colorado.

    An anonymous commenter from Missouri insisted that the mandate constitutes “a religious freedoms issue, not a women’s issue.”

    The Heritage Foundation produced a video on the anti-conscience mandate in February, which showed that government intrusions in the health care sector such as Obamacare inevitably trample on Americans’ rights. Religions liberty is simply “the first casualty,” explained Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall.

    Of course the fundamental problem with the anti-conscience mandate is not just that it’s unpopular, but that it violates the law. The First Amendment protects Americans’ religious and moral freedoms, a fact that the Department of Health and Human Services does not appear to have taken into account in formulating the rule.

    In fact, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently claimed ignorance of the “nuances of the constitutional balancing tests” that determine whether legislation is compliant with America’s most fundamental legal document.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Public Comments Overwhelmingly Oppose HHS Anti-Conscience Mandate

    1. Ron says:

      Why do decent people continue to elect evil? At this point in time I'm finding it very difficult to believe there is anything good left of the US Government. No one wants to accept responsibility for their actions and we have leadership that supports such attitudes. I remember my father, when, 60 years ago he left the Democratic party in a rage declaring, "This country will fall just like the Roman Empire!" Look around you, he was right.

      • art says:

        Why do decent people continue to elect evil? Ignorance mostly.

      • R0nin says:

        Why do you feel it was "decent people" who did it? People who think the state should not only allow them to kill their children, but who want to use the state to silence any who oppose them, aren't exactly "decent people".
        Whle I agree with Art that many voted for Obama (for example) out of ignorance, it was a willing ignorance. They didn't want to know what the man really stood for, they just wanted to do the "liberal" thing of electing a "black" man. (Not that the Dems were the first to put a Black candidate forward; just that they want to claim to be the only ones who would do so).
        However, many in the media and the liberal elite (and even the rank-and-file) elected him specifically because he would do the evil that they're in favor of– which goes far beyond government-sponsored abortion. In fact, he's in trouble with parts of his voting-base precisely because he hasn't done _enough_ evil yet.

    2. Bette says:

      Please everyone pray that God will take away thisevil trying to destroy our country !

    3. G Jones says:

      This is just more proof that our constitutional scholar president should have been flunked out of his constitution class. It’s also more proof that a Harvard education mean little to nothing, since they allow failures like Obama to graduate.

      • Jodi says:

        The fact that Obama not only passed his constitution class, but successfully graduated from Harvard with the socialist beliefs he holds, demonstrates that the extreme liberal mentality of many education professors is not only accepted, but encouraged. Derrick Bell is one of many.

    4. Mike says:

      Another example of the hundreds, possibly thousands of examples, of how our gov't is trying to circumvent our laws. This gov't is WAY WAY to BIG. It's almost impossible to wait till November. Please Lord, give me the strength and patience………………….

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Why did Obama start this? The answer, distraction! It's distracting the American people from focusing on the dismal resultrs of this president's policies. The Dems continue to twist the words into something that doesn't even resemble the truth. Every leftist lackey continue to scream the same lie that it a "war on women" and the Repbs. want to deny all means of berth control to women (recently one of McCain's daughters). You will never hear a Dem say one word about freedom of religion. It all about distracting and deceiving the American voter.

    6. art says:

      Sebelius sure is scary. I'm glad she wasn't my mom. She would have aborted me.

    7. pete says:

      Between

      "HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently claimed ignorance of the “nuances of the constitutional balancing tests” that determine whether legislation is compliant with America’s most fundamental legal document."

      and Pelosi's "We must pass this bill so we can see what's in it."

      I have to ask when is the last time we had a single person in charge in this country who actually knows the first thing about our Constitution?

    8. Bobbie says:

      Stating the title: "The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius" is false advertising and deceiving when she is without understanding the constitution and refusal to work with it!

    9. jetstream says:

      Congressman Gowdy's examples were an excellent challenge to Sibelius. We have to hope that the Supremes will continue to uphold the right to religious liberty and rule against Obamacare in its entirety.

    10. kevin says:

      I agree that the HHS Mandate is problematic, even unconstitutional. If my employer is a Catholic Hospital, then their health insurance provider should not be forced to pay for my wife's birth control pills; as a provision of a legal contract between the insurer and the hospital to exclude certain coverages. My acceptance of employment would be conditioned on those provisions, particularly, if the hospital is self-insured.
      The fact that well over 90% of sexually active women in the U.S. use, or have used contraceptives gives me pause…and tends to remind me to tone down the religous rhetoric in favor of a more secular approach; a matter of contract and constitutional law. To do otherwise, is to deny the "sinners" their right to sin, which apparently the vast majority of Americans has already determined is somehow not hypocritical. Remember, even atheists have a dog in this fight…or should if they're paying attention!

    11. Pingback: Obamacare is anti-life – The Augusta Chronicle | MajorMedical.mobi

    12. dougindeap says:

      The Bishops' arguments on the health care law have gone from wrong to ridiculous.

      First, the Constitution. Confronted by questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith, the courts have generally ruled that under the Constitution the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, torts, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. (E.g., http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/494/87

      When the legislature anticipates that application of such laws may put some individuals in moral binds, the legislature may, as a matter of grace (not constitutional compulsion), provide exemptions for conscientious objectors.

      The real question here then is not so much whether the First Amendment precludes the government from enacting and enforcing the generally applicable laws regarding availability of health insurance (it does not), but rather whether there is any need to exempt some employers in order to avoid forcing them to act contrary to their consciences.

      Second, no need for an exemption. While some may well oppose the law’s policy of promoting the availability of medical services they find objectionable, the law does not put employers in the moral bind some suppose. Many initially worked themselves into a lather with the false idea that the law forced employers to provide their employees with health care plans offering services the employers considered immoral. The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government. Unless one supposes that the employers’ religion forbids payments of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), then the law’s requirement to pay assessments does not compel those employers to act contrary to their beliefs. Problem solved.

      Some nonetheless continued complaining that by paying assessments to the government they would indirectly be paying for the very things they opposed, seemingly missing that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to many taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of “their” tax dollars. Should each of us be exempted from paying our taxes so we aren’t thereby “forced” to pay for making war, providing health care, teaching evolution, or whatever else each of us may consider wrong or even immoral? If each of us could opt out of this or that law or tax with the excuse that our religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate.

      In any event, those complaining made enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that religious employers would be free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking (yay!) and not be required to pay the assessments otherwise required (yay!). Problem solved–again, even more.

      Nonetheless, some continue to complain, fretting that somehow the services they dislike will get paid for and somehow they will be complicit in that. They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages. They evidently believe that when they spend a dollar and it thus becomes the property of others, they nonetheless should have some say in how others later spend that dollar. One can only wonder how it would work if all of us could tag “our” dollars this way and control their subsequent use.

    13. Eileen says:

      Dougindeap, What world do you live in! The so-called accommodation by the Obama Administration is no accommodation at all; it's a shell game. The Church won't have to pay for those "preventive services such as contraception, abortion inducing drugs like ELLA, sterilizations" (all of which goes directly against their moral teaching and forces the Church to provide the "service." ) The Insurer pays, right? In many cases the Church is THE Insurer, and when there is another Insurer, the costs will simply be passed on to the people who are in the Insurance pool. That means ALL of us have to pay for this morally objectionable provision.
      If the Catholic hospital or school refuses then they are fined (assessments you called them) which would cause them to shut down. (Cardinal George of Chicago said within two years we could see this happening) Is that what you want to see, when 1 out of 5 people are being currently treated at one of our 637 hospitals! Sorry, but the thought of 700,000 students having their school of choice shut down does NOT sound like a small matter to me, nor to the Bishops.

      Next to the Government itself, NO ONE DOES MORE FOR THE FOLKS, ESPECIALLY THE POOR AND NEEDY, than the CATHOLIC CHURCH. This is not only an attack on our Religious Freedom and our Conscience Rights, but it is shear LUNACY by the OBAMA Administration!

      November can't come soon enough for those who understand what is at stake, which you obviously do not!

      • dougindeap says:

        Reality. That's the world I live in. Check your "facts." I mean, really. Re-read my comment, which sets out the real facts. Much as the bishops have you worked up, the fact is that religious employers have options that allow the law to be implemented without forcing them to take any action contrary to their consciences.

        The problem is that the bishops wish to use their claims of "religious liberty" to carve out law-free zones in which anyone who enters must conform to their religious preferences rather than the law. Ironically, your argument that 1 out of 5 people is treated at one of "our" hospitals is perhaps the best argument that such a huge zone cannot and should not be carved out of the law. Better, frankly, that those hospitals be run by someone who can and will provide their employees and their patients with all the medical services the law affords.

    14. JOHN GRONDELSKI says:

      Is it still possible to submit commentary? If so, where?
      John Grondelski

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