Senators Joseph Pennacchio and Joe Kyrillos have formally submitted for the Senate’s consideration a resolution urging the Obama Administration to reverse its controversial health care mandate that would force Catholic institutions to violate their beliefs and pay for birth control.
“The so-called accommodation announced by the White House last week changes nothing, as Catholic hospitals and charities would still be forced to underwrite the cost of providing medical services that violate their beliefs,” said Pennacchio (R- Morris/Essex/Passaic). “This is a violation of a founding principle of this country that guarantees religious freedom and liberty to all creeds irrespective of the majority’s opinion about their beliefs.”
Pennacchio noted that Catholic institutions would still end up paying for contraceptive medications which are prohibited under church doctrine under the Obama Administration’s compromise proposal. Insurers will be required to offer coverage for these medications free of charge outside of the religious employer’s plan, but is likely to attempt to recoup the cost of that coverage by increasing the employer’s premiums.
“This issue has nothing to do with the merits of the Church’s position on contraception, or even whether or not a majority of Catholics adhere to this doctrine” said Kyrillos (R- Monmouth). “This is about whether or not the federal government can tell a religious group how to practice its faith and force it to fund activities that go against its teachings. The New Jersey Senate needs to stand up and send a bi-partisan message to the White House that this rule is wildly out of bounds.”