Thousands of our fellow Pennsylvanians are travelling to Washington, D.C., today to mark the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. On Friday, the Obama Administration announced that it would not honor the request of millions of Americans by allowing for a conscience exemption in its requirement that all employers pay for “health care” that includes sterilization, contraception and abortion-causing drugs. These two events are not unrelated; both signal a lack of respect for life and for the rights of those who uphold the dignity of all people.
Many of you sent emails last fall asking the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to respect conscience rights and religious liberty. Unfortunately, Friday’s ruling means that this mandate and the very narrow exemption will not change at all; instead there will only be a delay in enforcement against some employers.
This ruling will force Catholics to decide between violating their consciences and providing the basic right of health care. At issue is the constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for the conscience of Catholics and all other Americans. In this ruling, you and I were told that we can call ourselves Catholic, we just can’t act like we are.
So what is next? If the Administration will not rescind this violation of the First Amendment, Congress must do so. Voice your disappointment with the HHS ruling and ask your legislators to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR1179/S 1467).
PS- Another pro-life bill, The Women’s Right to Know Act, is in front of the Pennsylvania House. Please send a message in support of that pro-life legislation as well!