Press Release

Final HHS Rule Fails to Protect Constitutional Rights of Millions of Americans Rule does not fix basic conscience problems, leaving people of faith in the cold

Media Contact

Melinda Skea 202-349-7224 media@becketlaw.org

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to today’s final regulation on the Health and Human Services Mandate, Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for Becket provided the following statement:

“Unfortunately the final rule announced today is the same old, same old. As we said when the proposed rule was issued, this doesn’t solve the religious conscience problem because it still makes our non-profit clients the gatekeepers to abortion and provides no protection to religious businesses” says Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for Becket. “The easy way to resolve this would have been to exempt sincere religious employers completely, as the Constitution requires. Instead this issue will have to be decided in court.”

The final rule fails to fix the HHS employer mandate’s fundamental problems:

  • Non-profit religious employers are still dragooned into acting as gatekeepers to abortion
  • Self-insured religious groups must hire administrators that pay for abortifacients and contraceptives
  • Religious business owners still have to provide abortion-inducing drugs or pay up to millions of dollars in fines

“When it comes to religious liberty, the Department of Health and Human Services is acting like a kid who doesn’t want to eat his lima beans. Our Constitution and laws require them to protect religious exercise, but they really don’t want to, so they are trying every trick in the book to avoid doing so. But we will keep suing until the courts make HHS comply with its obligations” says Rassbach.

Becket led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. Becket currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.

 

Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. Becket recently won a 9-0 victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

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For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Melinda Skea at media@becketlaw.org or call 202.349.7224.