Obama and HHS continue assault on religious liberty

The Obama administration is continuing its march toward greater control. According to CNSNews.com, on Friday the Department of Health and Human Services announced that student health plans in the United States that cover female college students must cover free voluntary sterilization surgery. The coverage will be extended to college-aged women who do not attend school through their employers, their parents, or through a government program.

In addition, all student health plans will be required to “cover the full set of cost-free women’s ‘preventive services’ that HSS ordered last month must be covered by all U.S. health care plans,” according to a Saturday article posted on CNSNews.com. Not only do those “preventive services” include the sterilization procedures mentioned earlier, but according to Terence P. Jeffrey, they also include “all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions.”

The Department of Health and Human Services will force insurers to “provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients to students free of charge.” In HHS’ press release late Friday, the Department stated, “Under the final rule, students will gain the same consumer protections other people with individual market insurance have, like a prohibition on lifetime limits and coverage of preventive services without cost sharing. In the same way that religious colleges and universities will not have to pay, arrange or refer for contraceptive coverage for their employees, they will not have to do so for their students who will get such coverage directly and separately from their insurer.”

Catholic bishops in the U.S. are still not satisfied with the plan. According to the article posted on CNSNews.com, “[i]nstitutions that object on moral and religious grounds would still have to provide insurance plans that covered these things, even if their particular services were theoretically paid for their the insurer rather than the institution securing the insurers services to cover its students and employees.”

With this next step, the Obama administration continues to prove that it will do whatever it pleases, even if decisions such as the ones described above violate religious liberty. By allowing this step forward, the citizens of the United States are handing the president and his administration powers they should never be given, which, if not stopped, will ultimately lead to more devastating consequences for life and liberty.

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