Respect for Rights of Conscience Act

Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
In light of President Obama’s nationwide HHS mandate, a rule that will force nearly all private health plans to include coverage for sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) continues to urge that the mandate be rescinded and that Congress pass, and the President sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.

The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act is designed to ensure that participants in the health care system, “retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

If the HHS mandate presses forward this could mean:

  • Insurers who consider these services immoral will be forced to include them in their policies.
  • Employers and schools will be forced to sponsor and subsidize this coverage.
  • Employees and students will be forced to pay the premiums for this coverage.

Currently there is an exemption for a very small group of religious employers, but this does not include Catholic charities, schools, hospitals, and other self-insuring religious employers and religious insurance companies.

This mandate definitely threatens religious liberty, as well as freedom of conscience.

What can you do?

Support the USCCB in their effort to get Congress to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.

Contact your Senators and House Representatives via phone, email or fax.

  • Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
  • Find your local member’s contact information at and

Here is a sample message taken from the NCHLA’s (National Committee for a Human Life Amendment) website:

“Please co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467) and help enact it into law. The Obama administration’s decision to mandate coverage of sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, makes passage of this measure especially urgent. Please ensure that the rights of conscience of all participants in our nation’s health care system are respected.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition -- Buy from Amazon

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults -- Buy from Amazon

Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman

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