Loading
Senate rejects bill to end employer conscience protections
By Matt Hadro
Senate rejects bill to end employer conscience protections

.- The U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that opponents warned would have stripped conscience protections for businesses, drawing a response of cautious relief.

“While the outcome of today’s vote is a relief, it is sobering to think that more than half the members of the U.S. Senate, sworn to uphold the laws and Constitution of the United States, would vote for a bill whose purpose is to reduce the religious freedom of their fellow Americans,” said the U.S. bishops’ director of government, Jayd Henricks.

The procedural motion to move the bill along fell four votes short of achieving the 60-vote majority needed to continue. Sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the bill would have forced employers with group health plans to provide all “health items” mandated by federal law, including all FDA-approved contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act.

This would counter the Supreme Court’s recent decision that closely-held businesses like Hobby Lobby are protected by federal law from the federal birth control mandate, given their religious objections.

The controversial mandate requires employers to offer health insurance covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions. It has been the subject of religious freedom lawsuits from more than 300 plaintiffs across the country.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston – heads of the bishops’ religious freedom and pro-life committees, respectively – had cautioned against the proposed legislation in a letter to all U.S. Senators. They said that it “does not befit a nation committed to religious liberty. Indeed, if it were to pass, it would call that commitment into question.”

The bishops had argued that the bill would go far beyond the Hobby Lobby decision. If health care mandates were expanded in the future to include the abortion pill RU-486 or late-term abortions, employers would be forced to cover those and would have no recourse to conscience protections, they said.

Tags: Contraception mandate, Religious freedom, Hobby Lobby


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Gospel
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

Saint of the Day

St. Martha »

Saint
Date
07/29/14
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Homily
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: