Care Net Files Public Comment with DHHS:
Religious Liberty Still Threatened by Contraceptive Mandate
LANSDOWNE, VA – Speaking on behalf of Care Net and its more than 1100 affiliated pregnancy centers, Roland Warren yesterday filed public comment with the Department of Health and Human Services, calling on the Obama administration to “fully respect the religious liberty protections afforded individuals and institutions under the First Amendment.”
“Care Net, our affiliates, and other organizations that live out the implications of our faith by serving the broader community, ought not be judged by the government as insufficiently religious to qualify for exemption from the mandate. The First Amendment is neither confined to houses of worship nor to those who run them. We cannot state this more strongly: the Constitutional freedom of religion, which is the right of all Americans, ought never be reduced to freedom of worship,” Warren wrote in Care Net’s comments on the regulation.
Care Net’s public comment responds to the administration’s third version of its mandate requiring contraceptive coverage to be provided by insurance companies and employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the administration framed the present rule as an “accommodation” to faith-based organizations, Care Net CEO Roland Warren has called the regulation “woefully inadequate,” saying that “when coverage is employer sponsored and employer subsidized, it does not matter if the mandate is on the insurer or a third party contractor or the employer directly, the result is the same.”
The current regulation continues to include life-ending pharmaceuticals (such as ella) in the guidelines for covered “preventative services.” Ella, is the chemical cousin to Mifeprex, which is approved by the FDA as an abortifacient up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. Dr. Sandy Christiansen, Care Net’s National Medical Consultant has commented on the similarities between the drugs, noting “there is nothing preventative about an induced abortion.”
Care Net is working to build a culture where every woman receives all the support she needs to welcome her child into life and create her own success story. Last year, Care Net’s faith based pregnancy centers served nearly 400,000 women, offering them free services such as ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, STD tests and counseling services. Care Net pregnancy centers have been honored by numerous states and, in 2008, by the White House for their service to our country.