HHS mandate violates our religious freedom

The News article about the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally held in downtown Buffalo on Oct. 20 needs to be clarified. The Obama health care law’s HHS mandate requires that all employers must provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs to employees as part of their health care plans. This provision violates the conscience and religious convictions of many religious organizations and businesses, both Catholic and non-Catholic. These employers are seeking an exemption from this provision. While it is true that the administration has made a so-called accommodation, the employers are still not exempt and must pay for these services in their insurance premiums.

The issue is not that women shouldn’t have access to contraceptives, but rather that those who object should not be forced by the government to pay for them. The News article quotes presidential candidate Mitt Romney as saying that every woman should have access to free contraceptives, but it left out the second part where he said that conscience-objectors should not be forced to pay for them.

The HHS mandate is a clear violation of religious freedom on which our country was founded and it must be changed.

Mary E. Nemeth

Grand Island