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March 27, 2012

Act Now as President Obama Opens
Public Comments on Conscience Rights

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. He is a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate. Read more >>

As you know, Home School Legal Defense Association has been battling the Obama administration’s attack on conscience rights for the past several months after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refused to exempt religious employers from covering abortion-inducing drugs. Many such employers oppose these drugs for moral and religious reason. To read more detailed information on the history of this issue, please see our additional resources below.

The Obama administration has continually refused to return to the religious protections this country knew before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became law. In order to justify the administration’s controversial decision, they are turning to the American public for support. The administration will be taking public comments on the contraception mandate for 90 days. Please take this opportunity to submit a comment to the Obama administration with your thoughts on this freedom-defying regulation.

While you can use HSLDA’s resources listed below to expand your message to the administration, your comment can be as simple as the following:

To Whom It May Concern:

We urge the Obama administration to respect and protect the rights of conscience and discontinue plans to force employers to pay (directly or indirectly) for abortion-inducing and contraceptive drugs or devices to which they may have a religious or conscientious objection. To protect the sanctity of the First Amendment and the right of conscience upon which our nation was founded, this administration must act to preserve the freedom of employers to follow the dictates of their conscience. Women will still be able to freely purchase these drugs, as was the case before this regulation was proposed. However, there is no need to force employers to violate their religious beliefs and conscience and provide these drugs for free to their employees. This proposed plan will not bring down health care costs, and will gravely endanger religious freedom and the right of conscience.

Please note that these are public comments. You may read the proposed regulation and the call for public comments online.

Although this is not a homeschool issue, religious freedom and the right of conscience are fundamental freedoms which underpin many of our other liberties, including the freedom of parents to choose to educate their children at home. If this mandate is allowed to stand, the freedoms that we take for granted in many other areas could be at risk in the years ahead.

 Other Resources

HSLDA: “Update on Battle to Protect Religious Freedom and Right of Conscience”

HSLDA Update: “Obama Administration Disregards Freedom of Religion & Right of Conscience”

Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance: “Obama Admin: No Religious Accommodation on Birth Control Mandate”

HSLDA: “Comment Period on Conscience Regulations Ends September 30”

HSLDA: S. 1467—Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011

Heritage: “Many Faiths Unite in Opposition to Obama Attack on Religious Liberty”

Cato Institute: The Real Trouble with the Birth-Control Mandate

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Bishops Renew Call to Legislative Action on Religious Liberty”

Letter from Senator Portman (OH): Portman To Holder: Stop The Unlawful HHS Violation Of Religious Liberty