Final HHS Rule Fails to Protect Constitutional Rights of Millions of Americans

Image: Final HHS Rule Fails to Protect Constitutional Rights of Millions of Americans

Rule does not fix basic conscience problems, leaving people of faith in the cold

UPDATED: 1:30pm EST
For Immediate Release: June 28, 2013
Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to today’s final regulation on the Health and Human Services Mandate, Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty provided the following statement:

“Unfortunately the final rule announced today is the same old, same old. As we said when the proposed rule was issued, this doesn’t solve the religious conscience problem because it still makes our non-profit clients the gatekeepers to abortion and provides no protection to religious businesses” says Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “The easy way to resolve this would have been to exempt sincere religious employers completely, as the Constitution requires. Instead this issue will have to be decided in court.”

The final rule fails to fix the HHS employer mandate’s fundamental problems:

  • Non-profit religious employers are still dragooned into acting as gatekeepers to abortion
  • Self-insured religious groups must hire administrators that pay for abortifacients and contraceptives
  • Religious business owners still have to provide abortion-inducing drugs or pay up to millions of dollars in fines

“When it comes to religious liberty, the Department of Health and Human Services is acting like a kid who doesn’t want to eat his lima beans. Our Constitution and laws require them to protect religious exercise, but they really don’t want to, so they are trying every trick in the book to avoid doing so. But we will keep suing until the courts make HHS comply with its obligations” says Rassbach.

The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at ehardman@becketfund.org or call 202.349.7224.

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Additional Information:

 

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2013
Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to today’s final regulation on the Health and Human Services Mandate, Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty provided the following statement:

“Today, after two years of debate, four failed proposed accommodations, and over 60 lawsuits and 200 plaintiffs challenging the regulation, the Administration has announced its final rule on the HHS mandate. We look forward to closely studying the impact it will have on the existing lawsuits and the religious freedom of millions of Americans, and will provide a detailed statement shortly.”

A press conference call will be held today at 1:30pm EST to outline details of the final rule.

Who: Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

What: Press conference call to discuss details of final rule and its impact on litigation

When: June 28, 2013, 1:30pm EST

Where: 1.800.704.9804 Participant Code 743216#

The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at ehardman@becketfund.org or call 202.349.7224.

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Additional Information: