No More Coercion of Conscience
Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, applauded a new Health and Human Services regulation released today that provides relief to employers, such as religious organizations, schools, and family businesses, that had religious or moral objections to covering abortifacient drugs and contraception in employee health plans.
This new regulation protects groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, a women’s religious order devoted to caring for the elderly poor, and pro-life organizations, like the March for Life. Under the Obama-era rule, the financial penalty for noncompliance was up to $100 per day, per employee.
“For years, the Obama Administration threatened religious charities, schools, and pro-life organizations with massive fines for living according to their convictions,” said Smith.
“Today’s new regulation provides long-awaited regulatory relief to employers bullied by the Obama mandate.
“Finally, the Executive Branch has returned to its job of protecting freedom of religion and conscience rather than threatening it. Once again, people of faith, like the Little Sisters, will be free to live and work in keeping with the religious beliefs that inspire their self-sacrifice and compassion. And, thankfully, organizations like the March for Life will also be free from the Obama-era coercion of conscience.”
“I am grateful that the Trump Administration’s new regulations protect conscience, and I urge the Department of Justice to swiftly resolve the pending cases of the Little Sisters and others in keeping with today’s new rules,” he concluded.