AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
September 8, 2011
Issues (check corresponding number in ‘Details’ and ‘Action’ Sections)
1.) Congress Back in Session
2.) HHS Conscience Rules
3.) Ask Your Congressman to Support Our Military
1.) Our US Senators and Congressmen are now back in session. They are facing a myriad of issues that will affect all Americans in one way or another.
2.) Under Obamacare the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was given enormous powers to implement the universal health care plan. Under those powers, HHS convened the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to make recommendations for what “preventive services for women” should be mandatory for ALL private health insurance. In July the IOM, which had no pro-life representative, recommended that free coverage of all contraceptives and sterilization services be mandatory. On August 3rd HHS issued a regulation accepting these recommendations, meaning all private health insurance plans in the individual and group market will be required to cover these services with no co-pay for the patient. Thus the federal government is mandating that all private health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization services free of charge. The mandate includes drugs deemed “contraceptives” by the FDA even if they can cause abortions like Plan B and Ella. (RU-486 is not included since the FDA approved it as an “abortifacient”.
Organizations which provide insurance to their employees will be forced to cover such “services.” The HHS regulation contains an exemption only for certain group plans, not insurance in the individual market. Moreover, the exemption is unacceptably narrow for churches, but would not include religious businesses or other organizations that have moral or religious objections to such coverage.
Click here for the HHS news release and here for a table of the various ‘services’ covered free of charge by Obamacare. Note how nice and neatly “Contraceptive Methods and Counseling” is sandwiched in between counseling for STDs and breastfeeding!
The question is should employers and people who object to these drugs be forced to pay higher premiums in order to bear the costs for free abortions. This is clearly a violation of the conscience of millions of Americans, and additionally goes against the current conscience protections in law to stop government discrimination.
3.) Speaking of conscience: Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) will be introducing a bill to protect the right of conscience of those members of the military who believe engaging in homosexual acts is wrong and believe lifting the ban on homosexuals serving in the military is also wrong. The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal goes into effect on September 20th, but already the Congressman and others are fielding complaints from active duty personnel about the Pentagon’s progressive training materials. They say the Defense Department is pushing the line in its implementation of the new rules. The Pentagon is currently working on “disciplinary policies for people who don’t agree with this decision.” Essentially, Hunter’s legislation would ensure that “members of the Armed Forces are not pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of that member.” Our troops have pledged to follow legal orders, but they have not vowed to surrender their principles.
1.) We need to let our voices be heard in the halls of Congress on issues that are important to us, but we need to also daily pray for the decision makers in not only Washington, DC, but also Harrisburg and those on the local level.
2.) We are asking you to speak up on behalf of life and conscience protections for all groups or individuals that have conscience objections to any contraceptives as well as those that can cause abortion. HHS is currently receiving public comment on the definition of “religious employer” which they have defined as only including churches, but no businesses or other groups. Is a religious employer only a church or is it the local Christian bookstore, Christian adoption or relief agency such as Samaritan’s Purse? These businesses will be forced to cover contraception and abortion, if these rules stand. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org include this in the Subject line: ” Comment: RIN 1210-AB44.” Please note that any comments left are part of the public record.
3.) Contact your Congressman and ask him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor of Representative Duncan Hunter’s bill protecting our military service members’ freedom of speech. Click here for contact info This bill will be introduced before the September 20th lifting of the ban on homosexuals in the military, so contact your Congressman ASAP.