“Weighing” Consciences: Religious Enough to Be Free?

On February 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on its contraception/abortifacient mandate.  HHS claims the proposed rules adequately “accommodate” religious liberty by exempting employers who are religiously-affiliated, such as Catholic schools and hospitals. However, this “accommodation” still forces religiously-affiliated and other employers to help provide their employees contraceptives and abortifacients.

I agree with a recent argument by Father Shenan J. Boquet, President of Human Life International, that “Not only is this latest accommodation not acceptable, the entire [ObamaCare] law is still an affront to human rights, especially the right to life.  The entire law must be abolished[.]”

However, I was shocked by Father Boquet’s suggestion that “HHS Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius has almost unlimited power to make any changes to the rules as needed, with little oversight from Congress.” Really? Can an agency’s secretary regulate people as she pleases?

Nevertheless, Father Boquet’s quote that shocked me the most was the following:

While it appears that some additional entities may be provided relief from the unjust mandate, others, such as for-profit business and not-for-profits whom the administration deems insufficiently religious, are still subject to coercion.

Which of America’s Founding Founders stated that only “religious enough” people can enjoy freedom? Which constitutional standards does HHS even use to establish that, if an employer doesn’t qualify as “religious,” then the employer can have only a small amount of liberty?

I think the only answer to my above questions is that according to ObamaCare and HHS, Americans aren’t religious enough to be free and shouldn’t be free enough to be religious.  An interesting paradox!

If HHS invents a scale that could weigh my conscience, then I’ll provide my employees with contraceptives and abortifacients.

María Belén Eyheramonho About María Belén Eyheramonho

María Belén Eyheramonho got her Degree in Genetics from the Universidad Nacional de Misiones. She's pursuing a Master in Biomedical Ethics from Universidad Católica Argentina.

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