Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement today that violates the religious freedoms of people of faith and people of conscience.
“The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else,” said Smith. “It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naïve or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.
“The newest iteration of Obama’s coercion rule utterly fails because it still forces religious employers and employees who have moral objections to paying for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception to pay for these things, because it is still the employers who buy the coverage for their employees.
“Today’s announcement is a political manipulation designed to get Obama past his own self-made controversy and past the next election.
“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers “will not” have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their “insurance companies” will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.
“However, Obama has tipped his hand—at the end of the day, he will use force, coercion and ruinous fines that put faith-based charities, hospitals and schools at risk of closure, harming millions of kids, as well as the poor, sick and disabled, that they serve, in order to force obedience to Obama’s will.
Smith is the Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus, a position he has held since 1982.