President Obama’s “New Compromise” Not Good Enough
February 10, 2012
On February 10, 2012, President Obama announced a "new compromise" to his rule that all employers, including Catholic institutions, must pay for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization benefits. Unfortunately, his solution merely shifts the coercion from religious employers to insurance companies and to the people who pay premiums. While the CMA will study the details of the new policy as they become available, it appears to fall far short of addressing the fatal flaws in the original rule.
The Catholic Medical Association encourages people to support, and Congress to pass, legislation that fully protects the conscience rights and religious freedom of individuals, religions, and institutions (such as the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, H.R. 1179 and S. 1467). And the CMA calls upon President Obama to sign such legislation as soon as possible to demonstrate his commitment to conscience rights and religious freedom.
Such legislation is necessary, not only because this latest compromise is so questionable, but because the Obama administration has engaged in a consistent series of unprecedented attacks on conscience rights and religious freedom. These include:
- Gutting the only federal regulation protecting the exercise of conscience in health care;
- Denying federal grant funds for aiding human trafficking victims simply because the best qualified applicant, a Catholic agency, refused to provide or refer for abortion; and
- Actively lobbying the Supreme Court to restrict faith-based organizations' hiring rights and advancing a narrow view of religious liberty that the Justices described as “extreme,” “remarkable,” and “untenable” – before ruling against the Obama administration unanimously.
Finally, the Catholic Medical Association continues to hold that mis-labeling abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization as "preventive services" constitutes bad logic, bad medicine, and bad public policy. For the sake of women’s health, religious freedom, and authentic health care reform, the original HHS decision, as well as the flawed attempts at “compromises,” announced by the Obama administration to date, should be completely reversed.
Founded in 1932, the Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic physicians in North America. For more information, go to http://www.cathmed.org.
CONTACT: John Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L., Executive Director & Ethicist