August 8, 2013
The Obama Administration’s contraceptive/abortifacient/sterilization mandate will begin to be enforced against nonprofit religious schools, charities and health care providers on January 1, 2014. In the weeks to come, Congress must decide whether to address this problem before that deadline.
Members of Congress should continue to be urged to co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204), and to work for its approval in the next "must-pass" bill needed to keep the federal government operating. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or purchase health coverage.
Congress is now in its summer recess (August 5-September 9). The recess presents special opportunities to contact your Members and urge their support for H.R. 940/S. 1204. Members will be in their home districts and states. They will be learning what is important to their constituents, and this will influence their actions when they return in the fall. Please consider taking one or more of the following actions:
- Meet with Members in their local offices.
- Ask questions at town hall meetings.
- Step forward to talk with Members at county fairs and other public events listed on Members’ schedules.
- Write letters-to-the-editors for local papers and newsletters in response to stories or editorials related to conscience rights.
- Participate in radio and TV call-in shows. Members and their staffs read the local papers and track local media.
Always be polite and respectful. Full contact and scheduling info can be found on Members’ web sites at: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
Of course, if you have not yet sent e-mail messages to your Representative and two Senators urging support of H.R. 940/S. 1204, you can do so by clicking on the link below. A note: You also will be able to send a separate message to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) using his special Speaker’s web form.
Some background. Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including drugs and procedures that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. These objectionable items include sterilization, FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and “education and counseling” to promote these to all “women of reproductive capacity,” including minor girls. Under the final rule released by HHS on June 28, the mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer,” chiefly aimed at what HHS calls “houses of worship.” Other religious organizations offering education, health care and charitable services do not qualify for the exemption. The mandate will be enforced against them beginning January 1, 2014, under an “accommodation” that only changes the way the objectionable items must be provided to all employees and their dependents. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, or for businesses owned and operated by families with moral or religious objections.
Thanks for all you do in support of life!
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
Executive Director :
Please support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) and oppose all weakening amendments. This bill represents a common-sense reform of abortion policy.
“It is anticipated that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) will be considered on the House floor as early as June 18.
Please urge your Representative to oppose all weakening amendments and to support the bill. Please click on the link below to send your message today!
Because there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, this measure asserts a compelling governmental interest in protecting unborn children from this stage.
In testimony before Congress, Dr. Maureen Condic, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah, School of Medicine, concluded: “In light of the scientific facts, the observations of medical professionals, our own experience of pain, and our indirect experience of others’ pain, we must conclude that there is indeed a ‘compelling governmental interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.’ And this unambiguously requires a 20 week fetus to be protected from pain, as proposed under H.R. 1797.”
Find your president and congressman:
- U.S. House of Representatives (Posted on 10/10/2002)
- U.S. Senate (Posted on 10/10/2002)
- White House (Posted on 10/10/2002)
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein
By THOMAS SOWELL
With the passage of the legislation letting the federal government take control of the country’s medical care system, a major turning point has been reached in the dismantling of America’s values and institutions. Even the massive transfer of crucial decisions from millions of doctors and patients to Washington bureaucrats and advisory panels — as momentous as that is — does not measure the full impact of this largely unread and certainly unscrutinized legislation. If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an executive order of the president to do that.
Our New Masters
With politicians now having access to our most confidential records and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters? Despite whatever “firewalls” or “lockboxes” there may be to shield our medical records from prying political eyes, nothing is as inevitable as leaks in Washington. Does anyone still remember the hundreds of confidential FBI files that were “accidentally” delivered to the White House during Bill Clinton’s administration? Even before that, J. Edgar Hoover’s extensive confidential FBI files on numerous Washington power holders made him someone who could not be fired by any president of the U.S., much less by any attorney general, who was nominally his boss. The corrupt manner in which this massive legislation was rammed through Congress, without any of the committee hearings or extended debates that most landmark legislation has had, has provided a road map for pushing through more such sweeping legislation in utter defiance of what the public wants. Too many critics of the Obama administration have assumed that its arrogant disregard of the voting public will spell political suicide for congressional Democrats and for the president himself. But that is far from certain. True, President Obama’s approval numbers in the polls have fallen below 50%, and that of Congress is down around 10%. But nobody votes for Congress as a whole, and the president will not be on the ballot until 2012. They say that, in politics, overnight is a lifetime. Just last month, it was said that the election of Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts doomed the health care bill. Now some of the same people are saying that passing the health care bill will doom the administration and the Democrats’ control of Congress. As an old song said, “It ain’t necessarily so.”
The voters will have had no experience with the actual, concrete effect of the government takeover of medical care at the time of the 2010 congressional elections or the 2012 presidential election. All they will have will be conflicting rhetoric — and you can depend on the mainstream media to go along with the rhetoric of those who passed this medical care bill. The ruthless and corrupt way this bill was forced through Congress on a party-line vote, and in defiance of public opinion, provides a road map for how other “historic” changes can be imposed by Obama, Pelosi and Reid. What will it matter if Obama’s current approval rating is below 50% among the current voting public, if he can ram through new legislation to create millions of new voters by granting citizenship to illegal immigrants? That can be enough to make him a two-term president, who can appoint enough Supreme Court justices to rubber-stamp further extensions of his power. When all these newly minted citizens are rounded up on election night by ethnic organization activists and labor union supporters of the administration, there might be enough votes to salvage the Democratic Party’s control of Congress as well. The last opportunity that current American citizens may have to determine who will control Congress may well be the election in November of this year. Off-year elections don’t usually bring out as many voters as presidential election years. But the 2010 election may be the last chance to halt the dismantling of America. It can be the point of no return.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and Acorn by any other name will still just smell!
Eric Shawn writes:
Critics point to a variety of new local organizations that are springing up to apparently take ACORN’s place. In Brooklyn, New York the ACORN office now has a new sign: “New York Communities for Change,” and in Massachusetts the president of the new group, “New England United for Justice” is listed as Maude Hurd, the president of ACORN, in its articles of Organization.
There are a growing number of such local groups replacing ACORN, according to Matthew Vadum, of the Capital Research Center. He says ACORN Housing has changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America, Inc., and that other ACORN connected groups include: Arkansas Community Organizations, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and Missourians Organizing for Reform Empowerment.
“This is a trick, a public relations trick,” says Vadum, calling the move an attempt “to dupe Congress and the American people to think they have gone away and they have not.” He says “the same people are running the new chapters that have sprung up and in some cases, out of the same offices.”
Mr. McConnell, a former federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is a law professor at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center:
In just a few days the House of Representatives is expected to act on two different pieces of legislation: the Senate version of the health-care bill (the one that contains the special deals, “Cadillac” insurance plan taxes, and abortion coverage) and an amendatory bill making changes in the Senate bill. The House will likely adopt a “self-executing” rule that “deems” passage of the amendatory bill as enactment of the Senate bill, without an actual vote on the latter.
This enables the House to enact the Senate bill while appearing only to approve changes to it. The underlying Senate bill would then go to the president for signature, and the amendatory bill would go to the Senate for consideration under reconciliation procedures (meaning no filibuster).
This approach appears unconstitutional. Article I, Section 7 clearly states that bills cannot be presented to the president for signature unless they have been approved by both houses of Congress in the same form. If the House approves the Senate bill in the same legislation by which it approves changes to the Senate bill, it will fail that requirement.
One thing is sure: To proceed in this way creates an unnecessary risk that the legislation will be invalidated for violation of Article I, Section 7. Will wavering House members want to use this procedure when there is a nontrivial probability that the courts will render their political sacrifice wasted effort? To hazard that risk, the House leadership must have a powerful motive to avoid a straightforward vote.
Mr. McConnell, a former federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is a law professor at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center.