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Stop the Birth Control Mandate Petition

On August 1, 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services, directed by Kathleen Sebelius, adopted the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that “the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods” be determined a “preventive care service for women.” Under these new guidelines, mandatory coverage will be provided for surgical sterilization, all prescription contraceptives approved by the FDA - including drugs like Ella that can cause abortions in the early weeks of pregnancy - as well as counseling to promote them. This directive from the Affordable Care Act initiative will be supported by tax payers without a conscience clause exemption, violating the civil and religious liberties of millions of Americans.

We, the undersigned, state the following:

This new directive by the Obama Administration is:

  • Undermining: The U.S Department of Health and Human Service’s adoption of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that contraceptive services be provided for all women is contrary to Catholic moral teaching and undermines fundamental principles of the Catholic Faith. ["Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means . . . for example, direct sterilization or contraception." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2399)]
  • Deceptive:  Many FDA approved birth control methods are classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency of Cancer Research (IACR), a research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) and categorized in the same group as cigarettes and asbestos.
  • Discriminatory Against Catholic Institutions:  It violates the freedom of conscience and freedom to practice religion guaranteed by the Constitution, specifically targeting Catholic hospitals, clinics, parishes, social services, schools and other Catholic institutions under the new rule compelling them to act contrary to Catholic teaching on life and procreation unless they stop hiring and serving non-Catholics.
  • Biased Against Catholic Health Care Professionals:  A direct attack on Catholic doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who are not provided a “conscience clause” to opt out of providing medical services that are contrary to their religious beliefs.
  • Misleading:  Increased access to birth control will actually increase (not decrease) the need for abortion.  The Guttmacher Institute, a research arm of Planned Parenthood, admits that their research reveals that over 50% of women show up at abortion clinics for an abortion due to failed birth control.
  • Bad Medicine:  Encourages unhealthy and immoral sexual practices which will drive the need for more health care services in the area of STD treatment and abortion services. 
  • Lacking Transparency:  This mandate reveals shameless abortion rights advocacy by the Obama Administration as they are well aware that birth control distribution is the feeder system of the profitable abortion industry. 

Therefore, we petition the Obama Administration and Secretary Sebelius to immediately withdraw all references to contraception and contraception counseling from the “Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services” under The Affordable Care Act, and to provide a CONSCIENCE CLAUSE to protect the religious freedom and beliefs of Catholics and other Americans who are opposed to contraception.

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