WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) recently co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, S. 2043, which would repeal a mandate in the President’s health care law. Under the controversial law, faith-based institutions will be forced to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortives, even if this would violate their religious beliefs.
“This Administration has blatantly disregarded religious freedom, a founding principle of this nation,” said Wicker. “Obamacare’s mandates are a gross overstep of federal power. This is yet another disturbing example that rightly outrages many Americans. I will continue to work to repeal the President’s health care law, but this legislation would be an important step in the right direction.”
In January, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would grant exceptions for the contraception coverage mandate only to faith-based institutions that served members of the same religion. Many faith-based institutions, including hospitals and schools, are open to individuals regardless of their faith. The HHS ruling requires these institutions to either dramatically limit persons they serve or face steep fines for not complying.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 would prevent the Administration from forcing institutions to provide contraceptive coverage if they are opposed on the basis of religious belief. Wicker and 22 other Senators joined to co-sponsor the legislation, which was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). A similar bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio).
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