Support access to health care? Protect conscience rights.

 Catholic Organizations Respond to HHS “Preventive Services” Mandate

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We, the undersigned, strongly support access to life-affirming health care for all, and the ability of secular and religious groups and individuals to provide and receive such care. That is why we have raised objections to a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forcing almost all private health plans to cover sterilization procedures and contraceptive drugs, including drugs that may cause an early abortion.

As written, the rule will force Catholic organizations that play a vital role in providing health care and other needed services either to violate their conscience or severely curtail those services. This would harm both religious freedom and access to health care.

The HHS mandate puts many faith-based organizations and individuals in an untenable position. But it also harms society as a whole by undermining a long American tradition of respect for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. In a pluralistic society, our health care system should respect the religious and ethical convictions of all. We ask Congress, the Administration, and our fellow Americans to acknowledge this truth and work with us to reform the law accordingly.

Robert B. Aguirre, President Catholic Association of Latino Leaders

Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight Knights of Columbus

F. DeKarlos Blackmon, OblSB, Supreme Knight/CEO Knights of Peter Claver

William J. Cox, President/CEO Alliance of Catholic Health Care

Michael Galligan-Stierle, PhD, President/CEO Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

John Garvey, JD, President The Catholic University of America

Sheila Gilbert, President National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul

John M. Haas, PhD, STL, President National Catholic Bioethics Center

Ken Hackett, President Catholic Relief Services

Jan R. Hemstad, MD, President Catholic Medical Association

Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, President University of Notre Dame

Patty Johnson, President National Council of Catholic Women

James G. Lindsay, Executive Director Catholic Volunteer Network

Stephen L. Mikochik, JD, Chair National Catholic Partnership on Disability

Karen M. Ristau, EdD, President National Catholic Educational Association

Geralyn C. Shelvin, Supreme Lady Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary

Rev. Larry Snyder, President Catholic Charities USA

Joanne Tomassi, National Regent Catholic Daughters of the Americas

The Most Rev. José Gomez Archbishop of Los Angeles Chairman , Migration and Refugee Services

The Most Rev. Timothy Dolan Archbishop of New York President United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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