Senator Introduces Bill to Exempt Businesses from Obamacare Abortion Pill Mandate

Birth Control pdWASHINGTON — An Oklahoma Senator has authored a bill that would provide an exemption for businesses and non-profit organizations from what has been deemed the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare.

The Health Care Conscience Rights Act, presented by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., would remove penalties for entities that object to providing coverage for contraceptives and drugs that are considered by some to be abortifacients.

“As Thomas Jefferson declared to New London Methodists in 1809, ‘No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority,” it reads. “Jefferson’s conviction on respect for conscience is deeply embedded in the history and traditions of our Nation, and codified in numerous Federal laws approved by congressional majorities and Presidents of both parties…”

The bill notes that although Obamacare currently provides exemptions for some religious groups, “it fails to provide statutory protection for those seeking to offer and purchase health coverage who have a religious or moral objection only to specific items or services.”

Therefore, the legislation prohibits forcing any person to provide “coverage of an abortion or other item or service to which such individual has a moral or religious objection” and bans the government from imposing any penalties from those who opt out of offering the coverage.

The Health Care Conscience Rights Act was introduced after a federal court ruled last month that an opt-out accommodation offered by the federal government was sufficient to protect the rights of conscience. The provision allowed organizations to contact the Department of Health and Human Services and express their objection to providing coverage of the drugs, and in turn, the government would contact the group’s insurance company and arrange for coverage for the employee itself.

Some religious groups found the accommodation to still be a form of complicity in providing abortifacient drugs, and sued the federal government to challenge the compromise.

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“Our nation is divided on various issues, but the fabric of America is built on the First Amendment rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion. This should be something we all agree on,” Sen. Lankford said in a statement this week.

“It is possible for people with opposing views to live together in peace but we all must respect our different beliefs,” he continued. “The federal government should respect freedom and conscience rights for everyone; this bill would assure that happens.”

The legislation had likewise been introduced earlier this year by Sen. Diane Black, R-Tenn.

“The bill would prohibit any action by the federal government and any state or local government receiving federal financial assistance to subject a health professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, an accountable care organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of healthcare facility, organization, or plan to discriminate on the basis that the entity refuses to participate in abortion-related activities,” Lanford said.




























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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