For Immediate Release – February 10, 2012
ND Expert: Obama administration “comprise accommodation” inadequate
President Obama’s proposed adjustments to the new Health & Human Services rule requiring Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, to provide health care plans covering contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs continue to violate religious liberty, according to O. Carter Snead, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame.
“Today’s ‘compromise accommodation’ is nothing of the sort,” Snead said.
“The original uproar across the ideological spectrum was in reaction to the administration’s requirement that virtually all religious employers cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization in violation of their strongly held beliefs.
“Today’s rule still requires religious institutions (on pain of ruinous treasury fines) to purchase insurance that covers these same objectionable services. It is irrelevant that the rule requires the insurance company (rather than the religious institution) to explain to employees that the policy purchased for them by their employer includes the 5-day after pill. For institutions that self-insure, the situation is even worse; they will be forced to contact their employees and pay for such services themselves.
“It is no answer to suggest that the religious liberty of such employers is being accommodated because they are not “paying” for the objectionable services. First, it is naïve to imagine that the services are truly cost-free and that these costs will not be passed along to the employers who purchase these plans. More importantly, the simple fact is that under this policy the government is coercing religious institutions to purchase a product that includes services that they regard as gravely immoral.
“We should ask ourselves why President Obama has sustained the narrow exemption for churches, religious orders, and auxiliaries? This is tantamount to the admission that this policy, just like the previous one, runs afoul of religious liberty.”
O. Carter Snead
Professor of Law
Notre Dame Law School
In a recent post we brought news to you of the recently announced HHS Mandate concerning conscience protection and healthcare reform. Everyone has something to say about it, where do you stand?
The above are but a raw sampling of the myriad of statements, announcements, articles, editorials, and the like that have flooded the reading market in the last week and a half.
See the following links for more news on this breaking story:
“Catholic Culture” Reports
“The nation’s Catholics bishops are supporting legislation in Congress that would close the gaps in protecting conscience rights for religious employers that don’t want to pay for abortion drugs or birth control under the Obamacare law.
“In a new letter to members of Congress, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the head of the pro-life office of the Catholic bishops, told lawmakers to support a bill (H.R. 1179, S. 1467) that will close gaps in protection of conscience rights in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. The measure would, in light of the threat to conscience rights posed by a new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services, correct some of the problems with the law.”
Read the full article here.
Last fall, Notre Dame watched as Dean of Science, Gregory Crawford, biked across America with his wife, Renate Crawford, to raise awareness of research on Nieman-Pick Type C Disease. The awareness campaign was known as “Desert to Dome: Riding for the Lives of Children.” In January, another member of the ND family, Jeff Grabosky, ND ’05, started a 3,500 mile trek of running across U.S.A. Grabosky is expected to finish his cross-continental tomorrow when he arrives in New York City.
Like Dean Crawford, Grabosky is running for lives. He is running for all of our lives, the lives of children, the lives of all those in the world. However, he is not trying to raise money for any particular campaign or foundation. Inspired by his faith-filled upbringing as well as his mother’s (who died of cancer in 2006) practice of praying while on her daily runs, Grabosky is running across America using the time to pray.
“I have run for charity, raised money for breast cancer research and leukemia and other causes. When I thought about what I would be running for when I decided to run across the United States, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be an example to others, to inspire others to bring their worries and concerns to God in prayer. So I decided to take prayer intentions and would pray individually for each intention as I ran mile after mile after mile.”
Reflecting on his faith-filled, pro-life upbringing and the impact of his mother’s death, “Even when my mom was suffering, she found the strength to pray for and take action for life…On my runs I often pray for the unborn, those who have no voice. I recently became an uncle for the first time and seeing my little niece brings the kind of joy that penetrates my heart and soul, into spaces I didn’t even know existed. She was once, not long ago, a tiny unborn baby and I pray for all those who are like she was, but never got the chance to live,” Grabosky says.
Read more about Jeff Grabosky’s journey at www.jeffrunsamerica.com.
With a government shutdown imminently upon us, what many Americans might not realize is that the debate over the of funding Planned Parenthood (particularly, the group’s abortion-providing branch) is caught right in the middle of the arguments happening in Congress and the White House. Don’t believe me? Check out what the news sources are saying about it. The following are just a random sampling:
An overwhelming victory for the Culture of Life came this past weekend when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parethood’s abortion industry and prevent other federal funds from making it into the group’s abortion business from its other departments and initiatives.
Congressman Michael Pence (Indiana) who sponsored the amendament called the vote “a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life.” He commended his 240 collegues who voted with him in favor of the amendment, trumping the 185 who voted against it.
Read more about the victory and the Pence Amendment itself, Here.
Saint Louis University’s Students for Life is hosting its first ever art show. Students for Life is a group committed to educating others about the right to life and dignity every human has from conception to natural death. Through the theme “The Beauty of Human Life,” they hope to evoke thoughts and images of beauty in everyday life from the first moments of life at conception all the way through to the natural end of life and everything in between.