USCCB Fires Back at Joe Biden

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholicor otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to getcontraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that theorganizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied,along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”: www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/upload/comments-on-advance-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking-on-preventive-services-12-05-15.pdf

By

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Sundberg/100000503691206 Sam Sundberg

    Oct. 15th: I’m confused…I didn’t see Biden’s name there – did I miss it? People who did not watch the debate can assume it was Paul Ryan who made that comment. Why are the Bishops not saying openly that it was Biden who made those remarks??? They need to clarify this…ASAP.

  • SOE

    Sam, please refer to the title.

  • Jeremy

    It’s time to make our voices heard.

    On October 20, Americans will rally against the HHS mandate at more than 140 locations around the country.

    http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/locations/

    Let’s help get the message out!

  • Peter Nyikos

    The bishops did not write the title.

MENU