Sebelius' Same Ole Song and Dance
September 13, 2012 - Thursday
When Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius was nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Family Research Council led the way in opposing her nomination. We knew that a governor who would hold fundraisers in the governor's mansion for notorious abortionists as well as abortion giant Planned Parenthood should not be entrusted with a position that oversees the American health care system. Thanks to the passage of President Obama's health care law, her position has grown to one of the most powerful, and unchecked, positions in the U.S. Government. However her M.O. of politics and abortion ideology before good policy has not changed.
Yesterday the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) ruled that Secretary Sebelius violated the Hatch Act, the law that prohibits government employees from using their official authority or influence to affect an election. At an event in North Carolina earlier this year, Secretary Sebelius, in her official capacity, used her status as a government employee to push for liberal Democratic candidates. To add fuel to the fire, the event at which she spoke was a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign and their efforts to stop North Carolinians from being able to vote on the issue of marriage.
While this is the first time that the OSC has ruled against a high ranking Obama Administration official over the Hatch Act, it is not the only blatant violation that we see. Earlier this year President Obama filmed a fundraising video in the Oval Office for Planned Parenthood's political action committee, which in turn is spending millions of dollars to get the most pro-abortion President ever re-elected so that he may send even more government dollars to the abortion industry -- even though they already get over a million dollars a day from taxpayers!
Show Me State Shows the Way
On the heels of a tremendous victory passing a state constitutional amendment protecting religious liberty earlier this year, the state of Missouri is now showing the federal politicians how to truly protect conscience rights.
Yesterday the Missouri legislature voted to override Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's (D) veto of a religious liberty bill that ensures that no one will be forced to pay for abortion drugs and similar items in their health insurance when it violates their religious beliefs. During a special veto session, the Senate voted 26-6 to override the veto and the House voted 109-45. It takes 23 votes in the Senate for an override and 109 votes in the House. The law addresses President Obama's health care mandate requiring all employers to provide coverage in their health care plans for contraception, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs.
However, the Missouri law still needs federal action; otherwise Barack Obama's anti-conscience mandate will force employers to violate their religious beliefs. I want to thank Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, as well as the Missouri Catholic Conference, for showing Washington how to actually protect people's rights. Today we are honored to host a gathering of state family policy council (FPC) directors from across the nation who have been a part of a string of pro-family, pro-life legislative successes. To learn if your state has an FPC and how you can get involved, please visit our website for information.
Hobby Lobby "crafts" lawsuit against HHS
Yesterday, arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the HHS mandate, thus far the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to do so. Founded in an Oklahoma City garage in 1972, the Green family has grown their business into more than 500 stores in 41 states with over 22,000 employees. Because of their deeply held beliefs, they are closed on Sundays, place full page ads in newspapers at Christmas and Easter communicating the Gospel and on Independence Day reminding us of the faith of our Founding Fathers, and support a number of Christian ministry efforts.
"We know that we have been blessed by God's grace, and we believe it is because we have chosen to live our lives and to operate our business according to His word, and we are very grateful for that," said David Green, Founder and CEO. "But now our faith is being challenged by the federal government. The Health and Human Services 'preventative services' mandate forces businesses to provide the 'morning-after' and the 'week-after' pills in our health insurance plans. These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate."
We applaud the Green family and Hobby Lobby for standing up for their beliefs and standing against tyranny!
** Don't forget to watch our Values Voter Summit live webstream tomorrow, starting at 8:40 a.m. and running through Saturday night. FRC Action and our co-sponsors, The Heritage Foundation, AFA Action, American Values, Liberty University/Liberty Council and Family Research Council, will play host to grassroots conservatives, congressional leaders and luminaries of the conservative movement, including Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan. You can view the webstream and the updated speaker schedule here beginning tomorrow.