Reps. Stautberg, Sears Send Message to Federal Government: Stop Trampling on Ohio’s Religious Freedoms
COLUMBUS—State Representatives Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Twp.) and Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Twp.) today introduced a resolution urging the federal government to protect the rights of religiously affiliated organizations by urging the repeal of a federal mandate that all health insurance plans must cover contraceptive services. Nearly the entire House Republican Caucus has joined Representatives Stautberg and Sears in cosponsoring this resolution.
The resolution specifically urges President Barack Obama, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and the United States Congress to rescind a rule promulgated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires all health insurance plans to cover contraceptive and preventive services. According to this mandate, health insurance plans offered by religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges and other non-profits must offer coverage for these services, regardless of whether they have a faith-based opposition to them.
“This federal requirement completely disregards the religious freedoms of faith-based institutions and crosses the boundary between church and state,” said Representative Stautberg. “The federal government should not force employers to offer a product that violates their conscience or force religious leaders to act against their own teachings. Today we are sending a message to President Obama and Washington that here in the state of Ohio, we believe that religious freedom is worth defending.”
"This resolution is a vital step toward ensuring that the federal government isn’t enforcing mandates that put religiously affiliated organizations in ethically damaging situations,” Representative Sears said. “I am proud to sponsor this resolution because it will restore the rights of religious organizations to decide for themselves how to approach the issue of contraceptives and preventive services, rather than being controlled by Washington.”
The resolution will soon undergo debate in the House.
Thursday, February 02, 2012