When the Obama administration's health care financing plan was signed into law, President Barack Obama and Congress promised that funds under the new law would not cover abortions.
This has now been proven to be empty rhetoric.
Why? Because the Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that under the health care law, private health insurance plans must cover the "full range of FDA-approved contraception" in which category the health department explicitly included the emergency contraceptive drug ulipristal acetate (ella)..
This mandate includes a so-called "religious employer exemption," yet the exemption is so narrowly defined that most religious schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organizations serving the public do not qualify. Even an expanded definition of "religious employer" would fail to protect non-religously affiliated organizations, individuals and even religiously-affiliated health insurers whose pro-life consciences are nonetheless violated.
This is an unprecedented attack on the freedom of conscience of millions of Americans, eviscerating their freedom of choice to purchase private insurance that does not violate their ethical, moral or religious objections. I hope all readers will contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and voice outrage over this anti-life mandate.
Ruth and Kenneth Boes are Columbia residents.