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31 Oct, 2011 | News

ACTION ALERT: Defend CONSCIENCE RIGHTS!

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, the Human Services arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, joins leaders of 22 national Catholic organizations to protest the new rule on the “preventive services” mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and is calling for legislative reform of the health care law to protect conscience rights.
The Catholic organizations released a  statement about the new rule on mandated “preventive services”, which force Catholic organizations “that play a vital role in providing health care and other needed services either to violate their conscience or severely curtail those services.“ The new rule will force employers to pay for such services as sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs which can induce abortion. As of now, religious exemption to the rule would apply only to church institutions that hire and serve mostly Catholics and meet other narrow criteria, thus excluding most Catholic schools, hospital, and social service agencies, including Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
Help Catholic Charities urge Congress to support conscience protection legislation in light of the new HHS rule and the "unprecedented threat to religious freedom" it poses by writing to congress.
ACTION STEPS: Write to Congressin support of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON CONSCIENCE RIGHTS:
For more information on the HHS mandate and its inadequate conscience protection, read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Preventive Services Backgrounder.
Read an open letter that ran in Politico and The Hill from 20 national Catholic organizations, calling on Congress and the Administration to protect conscience rights in health care. Recently, two more groups signed on to the letter. Read the latest version with 22 groups.

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