An included religious exemption clause is so narrow as to not allow most organizations that reasonable people would call “religious” to follow their conscience.
Catholic Bishops in the US call Obamacare regulation an “Unprecedented Attack on Religious Liberty”
In an “urgent” call to action distributed as a bulletin insert at Catholic churches across the country on Sunday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that a new federal regulation proposed under President Barack Obama’s health-care law “poses an unprecedented threat to individual and institutional religious freedom.”
The proposed regulation would require all private health-care plans to cover sterilizations and “all FDA-approved contraceptives”–which include “emergency” contraceptives such as ulipristal (or “Ella”) that can cause an abortion both before and after an embryo implants in the mother’s womb.
The bulletin insert asked Catholics to visit a page on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (U.S.C.C.B.) from which they could send an email message to the Department of Health and Human Services protesting the proposed regulation.
Organizations like Catholic Universities and individual private business owners will not be permitted to opt out of paying for insurance that covers these morally objectionably procedures.
Indeed this article notes that a “layperson” as defined by the regulation doesn’t qualify for the Exemption. Jesus was an non-ordained itinerant preacher; he would not have qualified for the religious exemption.
You can see the NATIONWIDE BULLETIN INSERT here
Conscience Rights Violated by Sweeping HHS Contraceptive Mandate
From this article of August 30, 2009, the President argued that the Administration’s Healthcare plan does not fund Abortion. Cardinal Justin Regali said it would. President Obama is ‘Fabricating’—Not Cardinal Rigali and the Catholic Bishops—About Abortion Funding in Health Care Plan. Turns out the Cardinal was right.
It’s too late to formally respond to the proposed HHS regulations. I may write directly to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (herself a lapsed-Catholic.) I have written congress via the Catholic Bishops’ site which is in turn a link to the NCHLA the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment. http://www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=292