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Liberty Institute: Government "Accommodation" Still Requires Employers To Facilitate Coverage Of Abortifacient Drugs

Also Investigates Expanding "Accommodation" to For-Profit Corporations

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Obama Administration issued new regulations under Obamacare that modify the religious "accommodation" but still require religious organizations to facilitate insurance coverage for drugs that have an abortifacient effect, including Plan B (the "morning after pill") and Ella (the "week after pill"). The Obama Administration also announced that it is investigating expanding the "accommodation" to religious, closely held, for-profit corporations.

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The regulations issued today keep the same "accommodation" in place but provide an alternative means of accepting the "accommodation." Instead of submitting the previously required form, religious organizations may now elect instead to notify the government in writing of their objection to providing the abortifacient coverage using words of the organization's own choice.

"Eliminating the requirement of using the government's form does not eliminate moral liability for facilitating coverage of these abortifacient drugs," said Jeff Mateer, general counsel of Liberty Institute. "These new regulations are a mere hand wave to Americans who, inspired by their deep religious commitment, oppose providing drugs that may kill an unborn baby."

Last month, in the wake of the Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College Supreme Court decisions prohibiting the Obama Administration from forcing religious employers to facilitate or provide coverage for these abortifacient drugs, the administration announced that it would issue new regulations that would protect religious employers' religious freedom. Those new regulations, issued today, keep the same fundamental system in place to which so many employers have objected.

Under the "religious accommodation," religious organizations could submit a form that would trigger a requirement that the organization's insurance provider cover the objectionable drugs. Many faith-based organizations objected that forcing their insurance providers to cover drugs like Plan B and Ella was no less morally objectionable than including the drugs directly in the organizations' health insurance policies.

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation's Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

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SOURCE Liberty Institute

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