Does Obama's 'Final Rules' Contraceptive Mandate Still Violate Religious Freedom?

1200px-HobbyLobbyStowOhio“Marrying” homosexuals, baking cakes for “weddings,” giving over a portion of our hard-earned money to pay for abortions — Christians are faced with caving to a depraved culture or standing up for their right to religious freedom, codified in the U.S. Constitution (unlike homosexual “marriage” or killing unborn babies).

Our setbacks should make us stronger, not weaker, and more faithful, not less. We know the real war is won. The question is, in the current anti-Christian climate, what are we required to do? There’s nothing new under the sun. God requires His own to be faithful, hopeful, and prayerful. He requires us to continue to share the Gospel, warning the unrepentant what their unbelief will cost them and how to avoid God’s wrath.

As the Becket Fund noted, the Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) final rules (issued last Friday) still require non-profit organizations and businesses with religious objections to be involved with the Obamacare contraceptive mandate. They would have to authorize third-party insurers and administrators to provide drugs that could induce abortions:

These rules allow these eligible organizations to notify HHS in writing of their religious objection to providing contraception coverage, as an alternative to filling out the form provided by the Department of Labor to provide to their issuer or third-party administrator. HHS and the Department of Labor will then notify insurers and third party administrators of the organization’s objection so that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate payments for contraceptive services, with no additional cost to the enrollee or organization, and no involvement by the organization.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Obamacare tax credits are available to individuals even in states without their own exchanges, which means employees working in religious organizations can get birth control and abortion drugs through the exchange, not from employer group plans. In the 2013 Hobby Lobby case, the court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 allows closely held corporations to deny employees contraceptive “health care” coverage based on religious objections.

So why is HHS still trying to enforce the law against them in the form of an accommodation?

Reasonable people understand that this isn’t about the money or “free” health care. Birth control pills and various barrier methods are inexpensive. The goal is to score a “win” against Christians in particular. Non-profits and closely held businesses with religious objections are supposed to be exempt from the mandate, and HHS just made them subject to it again. These entities don’t want to offer such drugs, pay for them, or provide “accommodations” for employees. They don’t want to help the government do it, either.

Photo credit: “HobbyLobbyStowOhio” by DangApricotOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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