WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — In urging the Obama administration to rescind a new preventive services rule that mandates coverage of controversial contraceptives under the new healthcare law, the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association noted that “pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented.”
The CMA document, submitted as an official comment to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Wednesday afternoon, noted, “The federal mandate imposes a radical ideological stance–unprecedented in and inconsistent with federal law–regarding conscience, contraception and abortion, on the vast majority of states that have taken a far less coercive and far more balanced approach.
“The mandate violates the religion and free speech clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution, by coercing faith-based health care ministries to not only violate the very faith-based tenets that have motivated patient care for millennia, but also to pay for that violation.”
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens observed, “Such conscience-violating mandates will ultimately reduce patients’ access to faith-based medical care, especially depriving the poor and medically underserved populations of such care. A national survey (available at www.Freedom2Care.org) of over 2,100 faith-based physicians revealed that over nine of ten are prepared to leave medicine if pressured to compromise their ethical and moral commitments.”
CMA also pointed out that the new rule “offers no actual exemption but merely allows ‘additional discretion’ to exempt a nano-sector of ‘religious employers’ from the guidelines regarding contraception. The potential exemption provides no protection to conscientiously objecting individuals or insurers. The narrow potential exemption is far more restrictive than any other genuine religious exemption in federal health care law.”
The CMA document is available on the Freedom2Care web site at www.freedom2care.org.