Federal Legislation
February 29, 2012

S. 1467—Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011

Action Requested:
S. 1467 was placed in S. 1813 as Amendment No. 1520. The Senate plans to vote for Amendment No. 1520, Thursday, February 29, 2012. HSLDA urges you to contact your two U.S. senators and tell them to vote in support of Amendment No. 1520. To find your senators’ contact information, please use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox. It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Your message can be as simple as, “Please vote in favor of Amendment No. 1520, to allow health care stakeholders to opt out of certain health care coverage for religious reasons. The Department of Health and Human Services should not have the power to require employers to cover drugs that they have moral objections to.”

Summary:
S. 1467 would expand the current religious exemptions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act so that any health care stakeholder can opt out of coverage they find is against their religious beliefs and moral convictions.

Status:

8/2/2011 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Sponsor: Senator Roy Blunt (MO)

Bill Summary— S. 1467

Talking Points:
With new regulations put in place by PPACA (which HSLDA opposed), most health insurance plans in the United States will have to provide the full range of birth control drugs by August of next year. The birth control drugs include abortion-inducing drugs like controversial “Ella” and “morning after pill.” The religious exemption put in place by President Obama is so extremely narrow that only churches or other houses of worship will be able to refuse to participate in plans offering these drugs without facing a penalty. We believe that it should be broadened to not only include houses of worship, but also religious organizations, religious colleges, and employer-funded private health insurance plans if the employer has a conscientious objection to using corporate funds to pay for birth control or abortion-inducing drugs.

 Other Resources

“Federal Government Tramples Conscience Protections”

HSLDA’s Comments to HHS on Conscience Protections (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)