The Obama administration released new HHS mandate rules today that attempt to expand the number of religious groups that can opt out of the pro-abortion mandate — but that leaves religiously-run companies like Hobby Lobby out in the cold. Pro-life advocates oppose the mandate because it forces religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
Thanks to a number of decisions in court related to lawsuits filed against the mandate by dozens of religious businesses and organizations, the Obama administration is under court order to revise the mandate. But the proposed changes don’t protect everyone who wants to opt out.
Although the proposed revisions provide some additional protections for religiously-affiliated organizations, companies owned and operated by people with religious objections to the mandate are not included in the expanded exemption rules.
“Today, the administration is taking the next step in providing women across the nation with coverage of recommended preventive care at no cost, while respecting religious concerns,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We will continue to work with faith-based organizations, women’s organizations, insurers and others to achieve these goals.”
But the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a pro-life legal group representing Hobby Lobby, told LifeNews the proposed changes would still force the company to comply with the mandate.
“Today’s proposed rule does nothing to protect the religious liberty of millions of Americans. The rights of family businesses like Hobby Lobby are still being violated,” Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for The Becket Fund For Religious Liberty, said.
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