CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397
Washington, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC), after reading the fact sheet on the new proposed HHS mandate rule pertaining to non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit entities, like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, again confirms that the HHS mandate violates the conscience rights of non-profit organizations and family businesses across the country.
Arina Grossu, Director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, made the following comments:
"This new proposed rule maintains the threat of crippling fines on non-profits who stand up for their freedom of conscience.
"What remains an insulting accounting gimmick does not protect the rights of Americans with sincere conscientious objections. It is simply another clerical layer to an already existing accounting gimmick that does nothing to protect religious freedom because the employer still remains the legal gateway by which these drugs and services will be provided to their employees. It's very disappointing that the Obama administration is doubling down on its plans to punish charities and non-profits that assist the poor and homeless, who in some cases have nowhere else to turn for assistance.
"Effective immediately, this latest rule still orders charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor, non-profit Christian colleges like Wheaton College, and religious broadcasters like EWTN to violate their consciences simply because they legally contract for health coverage. The government uses their contract as the basis to force their insurers to provide their employees with free contraception and drugs that can kill human embryos, against their sincere conscientious beliefs.
"If these charities and non-profits follow their conscience and decline to participate in the meaningless accounting gimmick, the administration will make them pay huge penalties accruable on a daily basis -- one hundred dollars per employee per day.
"Additionally, the government is also soliciting comment on new ways to force family businesses to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions due to the HHS mandate in an attempt to address and skirt the recent Supreme Court ruling. However, the government's actions here still force family businesses to be complicit in what they view as morally wrong.
"The Family Research Council urges the administration to offer a full exemption from the mandate to charities and non-profits that have sincere conscientious objections and to respect the Supreme Court's ruling regarding family businesses like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties," concluded Grossu.