HHS "Contraceptives" Mandate

February 13. 2012

This page collects EPPC and other leading commentary on the HHS "preventive services" mandate's affront to American religious freedom. (See below.) The mandate is part of a growing pattern and practice of federal and state officials seeking to restrict the religious freedoms of American faith communities and the ability of those communities to participate in public life without violating their religious beliefs.

On January 20, 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that—despite widespread religious objections to the proposal when it first surfaced the previous August—the administration would issue a new regulation under the rubric "preventive services."  The regulation would require every employer in America to provide products and services that include contraceptives, sterilization services, and prescription drugs that kill developing human embryos. These would be provided at the expense of each American employee and employer.

The regulation's exemption for "religious organizations" is so narrow that for the first time in U.S. history millions of Americans of faith, as well as religious organizations representing similar millions, would be forced to pay for products and services against which they have deeply held religious and conscientious objections. Read More >>

EPPC Commentary and Analysis

After 'United for Religious Freedom', George Weigel, National Review Online (3/19/2012)

The Latest Mandate Announcement, James C. Capretta, National Review Online (3/16/2012)

No Compromise, George Weigel, National Review Online (3/14/2012)

The 'Accommodation' that Isn't, James C. Capretta, National Review Online (3/8/2012)

Obama's Contraception Spin Machine, George Weigel, National Review Online (3/8/2012)

The Battle Continues, Beyond Rush, George Weigel, National Review Online (3/5/2012)

The Catholic Diaspora and the Tragedy of Liberal Catholicism, George Weigel, The Catholic Difference (2/29/2012)

Inept NYT Op-Ed Defending HHS Mandate - Part 2, Ed Whelan, National Review Online - Bench Memos (2/27/2012)

Inept NYT Op-Ed Defending HHS Mandate - Part 1, Ed Whelan, National Review Online - Bench Memos (2/27/2012)

EJ Dionne, Courtier, Ed Whelan, National Review Online--The Corner (2/23/2012)

Feeble Defense of HHS Mandate
, Ed Whelan, National Review Online-Bench Memos (2/22/2012)

The Catholic Betrayal of Religious Freedom, George Weigel, National Review (2/20/2012)

Birth-Control Mandate: Unconstitutional and Illegal, David Rivkin, Jr. and Ed Whelan, The Wall Street Journal (02/15/2012)

Divide and Conquer?, George Weigel, National Review Online (2/15/2012)

HHS and Soft Totalitarianism, George Weigel, The Catholic Difference (2/15/2012)

The HHS Contraception Mandate vs. the Religious Freedom Restoration Act-Obamacare Does Not Trump RFRA, Bench Memos-National Review Online (2/13/2012)

No Lawful "Compromise" on the HHS Mandate, Ed Whelan, Bench Memos-National Review Online (2/10/2012)

Obama's Attack on Religious Liberty, Peter Wehner, Commentary Magazine (2/9/2012)

Damage Control on Birth Control, George Weigel, MSNBC's The Rundown (2/7/2012)

Health Insurance and Contraceptive Services (45 min.), C-SPAN Interview with Ed Whelan (2/6/2012)

White House's Defense of Mandate Called Inaccurate, Misleading, Michelle Bauman from Catholic News Agency interviews Brian Walsh (2/3/2012)

A Matter of Principle, Stephen White, The Corner-National Review (2/2/2012)

The HHS Mandate vs. the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Ed Whelan, Bench Memos-National Review Online (1/26/2012 - 1/30/2012)

Clash of Conscience, James Capretta, National Review (1/30/2012)

Religious Liberty and Civil Society, Yuval Levin, National Review Online (1/30/2012)

Additional News and Commentary

Dolan: 'We Can't Back Down', Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online (3/29/12)

Can Religious Freedom Be Saved?, NRO Symposium, National Review Online (3/26/12)

Another Failed Accomodation, Grace-Marie Turner, National Review Online (3/17/2012)

The Law as Therapist, Gerard V. Bradley, National Review Online (2/28/2012)

Contraception and the Culture War, Peter Berger, The American Interest (2/22/2012)

The New York Times and Catholic Hospitals, Leonard J. Nelson, III, National Review Online (2/24/2012)

Obama's Deceptive Hidden Premises, Michael Novak, National Review (2/17/2012)

Swing States Poll: Healthcare Law Hurts Obama in 2012, USA Today (2/27/2012)

Overreach: Obamacare vs. the Constitution, Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post (2/17/2012)

Mother Angelica's Network Isn't Buying Obama's Religious Liberty Ruse, Mark Thiessen, The Washington Post (02/14/2012)

Obamacare vs. the Catholics, Jonathan Last, The Weekly Standard (2/13/2012)

The Church of Kathleen Sebelius, William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal (2/13/2012)

Nothing but Squid Ink, Ed Haislmaier and Jennifer Marshall, National Review (2/11/2012)

A Shell Game is Not a Compromise, Mark Rienzi, The Corner - National Review Online (2/10/2012)

The Compromise, Hannah Smith, The Corner - National Review Online (2/10/2012)

United We Stand for Religious Freedom, Donald Wuerl, Charles Colson and Meir Soloveichik, The Wall Street Journal (2/10/2012)

Statement of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to President Obama's Revised Mandate, Dr. Richard Land, ERLC (2/10/2012)

Catholics, Conscience and Contraception, Ross Douthat, The New York Times Online (2/9/2012)

Contraception Mandate Violates Religious Freedom, USA Today Editorial (2/5/2012)

A Battle the President Can't Win, Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal (2/4/2012)

Obama Picks Fight with Conscience; Congress Can Fight Back, The Foundry (1/31/2012)

J'Accuse! Why Obama is Wrong on the HHS Conscience Regulations, Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter (1/21/2012)

Administration Reaffirms Insurers Must Cover Contraception, Robert Pear with Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times (1/20/2012)

No Change, Emily Belz, World Magazine (1/20/2012)

Open Letters from Faith Leaders to President Obama

Cardinal Dolan's Letter to Catholic Bishops in the United States, United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (3/2/2012)

Unacceptable, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Witherspoon Institute (2/13/2012)

Letter from 52 Faith-Based Leaders to President Obama on HHS Contraceptives Mandate, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (12/21/2011)

Letter from Faith-Based Denominational Leaders to White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (8/21/2011)

Letter to Kathleen Sebelius from Father John Jenkins, President of the Univ. of Notre Dame, Office of the President, Univ. of Notre Dame (9/28/2011)

Litigation Information

The Becket Fund's HHS Contraception Mandate Challenge (including additional court documents)

Resources on HHS Contraceptives Ruling, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (1/23/2012)

Complaint-Colorado Christian University v. Sebelius, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (12/22/2011)

Complaint-Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (11/10/2011)

Legal Memo on HHS Contraception Mandate, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (9/30/2011)

Additional Multimedia

Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?, Hearing in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform (2/16/2012)

Health Care Law Contraceptives Rule, Catholic Information Center Conference via C-SPAN (2/8/2012)

Obama Administration, Catholic Leaders Clash Over Contraception Mandate, PBS Newshour (2/6/2012)

PBS Newshour on Silver Earplugs and Obama Healthcare Ruling, PBS Newshour (2/3/2012)

Hannah Smith (Becket Fund) Appearance on Fox News, Hannah Smith, Fox News Room (2/2/2012)

Catholic Clergymen Come Out Swinging Against HHS Regulation, Ed Marrapodi, CNN Religion Blog (1/30/2012)

 

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