The Obama administration’s assault on religious liberty is taking root as it begins implementing rules which require employers to pay for sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees.
Employers whose health plans didn’t get “grandfather” protection or are not otherwise exempt must cover “preventive health services” at no cost to their employees. The Obama administration requires coverage of the full range of contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Among the drugs and devices that must be covered are “emergency contraceptives” including pills known as ella and Plan B, which cause early abortions. The rule also requires coverage of sterilization procedures for women without co-payments or deductibles.
Failure to comply with the mandate will result in penalties that could cost small business millions of dollars.
Last week in Colorado, U.S. District Court Judge John Kane granted a preliminary injunction on behalf of Hercules Industries, halting the government’s ability to enforce its anti-conscience mandate against the company while the lawsuit challenging the mandate continues.
Hercules is a family-owned company with 265 employees who manufacture air conditioning parts. Its owners are Roman Catholics who see the Obama Administration’s message as “either comply and desert our faith, or resist and be punished,” said William Newland, one of the owners.
The fine for non-compliance is $100 per employee per day. A Heritage post explained that, with 265 employees, Hercules’ fine would have amounted to $800,000 per month—almost $10 million per year.
HHS has granted Catholic schools, hospitals, charities and other Catholic organizations another year to comply, but there is no forgiveness for private business owners who strongly oppose the mandate and who believe it is a clear violation of their constitutional protection of religious liberty. For them, there is no escape unless they go to court.
The HHS mandate forces business owners to choose between following their religious beliefs or obedience to the federal government. The White House is willing to shred the constitutional protection of religious liberty to make sure that women don’t have to spend $9 a month on birth control pills.
The Obama administration clearly believes the government is supreme and that individuals and businesses must bow to its dictates or suffer severe consequences.
We know that ObamaCare is wrong for America. The HHS anti-conscience mandate is clear evidence of why the law violates the most fundamental principles upon which our country is founded.