Religious groups and businesses who, by weight of conscience, are choosing not to participate in the HHS mandate requiring them to provide abortifacients, artificial birth control, sterilization procedures and abortions as part of “health” care coverage, are now faced with massive fines from the government. The fines for non-compliance are $100 per day per employee. For some companies, that means millions in fines.
Eric Baxter, Senior Counsel for The Becket Fund, says
…the mandate places a “significant burden” on religious organizations’ ability to plan, budget and hire.
“Most organizations are already trying to get their insurance plans, for example, in the next year in place,” he said.
The lawyer noted that there is a “great deal of anxiety” because employers are subject to lawsuits from individuals who are not receiving required benefits under their health plans.
“That anxiety is only increasing as the implementation date approaches,” he said.
While some organizations have been given a reprieve from the mandate, there remains a strong sense of confusion among many as to whether or not they will be forced to comply, based on whether they are primarily “religious” or not. For instance, Tyndale House recently won a court case against having to participate in the HHS Mandate, but Hobby Lobby, a retail chain, faced a legal setback in its stance that the mandate violates the owners’ religious convictions.
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver recently told EWTN that
The First Amendment is a promise that no one should have to choose between a public life and their religious integrity. Without the consent of our elected officials, the mandate can change in troubling ways. This kind of unchecked discrimination is dangerous.