Remarks by Peter Sprigg
Senior Fellow for Policy Studies
Family Research Council
Delivered at the Rally for Religious Freedom
March 23, 2012
Good afternoon. Just for the record--I am not a Roman Catholic (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I am a member of a Southern Baptist church. The Southern Baptist Convention--America's largest Protestant denomination--does not teach that all forms of artificial birth control are immoral or sinful.
But the Family Research Council and I vigorously oppose the administration's so-called "contraceptive mandate" (which includes abortifacient drugs as well) because it is really a "conscience violation mandate."
This is not an issue of "access to contraception." With or without this added mandate, the following things are true about contraceptives:
- They are legal in every state and any woman (or man) is free to purchase them.
- Private non-profit organizations are free to provide them.
- Insurance companies are free to sell policies that cover them.
- All employers are free to purchase such policies.
Furthermore, under the president's health care law, most employers who provide health insurance will be required to purchase policies that provide them at no cost to the employee.
But all that is not enough for the current administration. They want even religious employers to be forced to provide insurance covering procedures those institutions believe are morally wrong.
That violates the First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion. When there is a threat to the freedom of one, there is a threat to the freedom of all.
We will not--we must not--tolerate it.