GOP Candidates Oppose HHS Mandate


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ABSTRACTGOP Candidates Oppose HHS Mandate | Daily News | NCRegister.com Print Edition:  April 8, 2012   Donate Archives Blogs Store Resources Advertise Jobs Radio Subscribe Make This My Homepage Resources Christmas Music Arts & Entertainment Books Commentary Culture of Life Education In Person News Opinion Sunday Guides Travel Vatican Dan Burke Edward Pentin Mark Shea Matthew Warner Jimmy Akin Matt & Pat Archbold Simcha Fisher Tito Edwards Jennifer Fulwiler Steven D. Greydanus Tim Drake Tom Wehner Our Latest Show About the Show About the Register Donate Subscribe Stations Schedule Other EWTN Shows Advertising Overview Editorial Calendar Order Web Ad Order Print Ad Print Article | Email Article | Write To Us Daily News Daily News GOP Candidates Oppose HHS Mandate (948) Presidential candidates weigh in on religious freedom. Share by EWTN NEWS/CNA 02/07/2012 Comments (2) – Shutterstock/Illustration by Melissa Hartog Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum encouraged Catholic groups across the U.S. to disobey a federal mandate requiring them to buy health-insurance plans that violate Church teaching. Santorum was asked on a Feb. 1 talk show what advice he would give to Catholic hospitals, schools, adoption agencies and other charities struggling with the mandate. “Civil disobedience,” he responded. “This will not stand.” The GOP contender spoke as a guest on political commentator Hugh Hewitt’s radio show and said that his strong concern about “the government taking over health care” is a primary reason he decided to run for president. Santorum said that the mandate, which was issued under the authority of the 2010 health-care overhaul, should come as no surprise. “If you’re going to give people secular power, then they’re going to use it in a secular fashion,” he said, adding that those who had embraced the health-care legislation had permitted the problem to develop. Turning to the government to provide “a right to health care” gives the government power to “tell you how to exercise that right,” he explained. He reiterated that “government isn’t the answer to the social ills,” but that families, communities, charities and individuals of faith should instead fill this role. Santorum said he believes the mandate will eventually come before the Supreme Court, where he does not think the administration’s argument will prevail. He pointed to the Jan. 11 Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC ruling, in which the Supreme Court justices unanimously upheld the “ministerial exception” that allows religious organizations to make employment decisions without interference from the government. Legal experts have said that the decision may have far-reaching consequences because it rejects the narrow definition of religion that has been utilized by the current administration. Santorum described the ruling as “a 9-0 decision that said the Obama administration can’t roll over people of faith when it comes to hiring.” He added that despite that ruling the “radical, secular government” continues to downplay the importance of the First Amendment. In continuing the battle for religious freedom, Santorum urged Catholic organizations to “fight” the mandate through both court cases and civil disobedience, adding that they should “go to war with the federal government over this one.” Previous Feb. 3 story below. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pledged to overturn the HHS contraception mandate that he says takes “particular aim” at Catholics. “I stand with the Catholic bishops and all religious organizations in their strenuous objection to this liberty- and conscience-stifling regulation,” Romney wrote in a Feb. 3 Washington Examiner column titled “President Obama vs. Religious Liberty.” If elected president, the former Massachusetts governor said, he would eliminate the mandate “on day one.” “Such rules don’t belong in the America that I believe in.” The mandate, announced on Jan. 20, requires employers to provide insurance coverage for FDA-approved sterilization procedures and contraceptive drugs, including some abortifacient drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services classified the procedures and drugs as “preventive care.” The religious exemption for the mandate would not cover most Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable organizations, despite Catholic teaching that the use of these procedures and drugs is sinful and objectively immoral. Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said that religious liberty is “facing the most serious assault in generations” from “liberalism itself.” He charged that the rule is “taking particular aim at Roman Catholics.” “The.......