Conscience-protection bill for HHS mandate introduced in House
Published: March 5, 2013
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Three Republican members of the House of Representatives March 5 introduced a bill to protect conscience rights for both workers in the health care industry and for employers in light of the federal mandate requiring employers to cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. One of the sponsors, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said it is possible that the bill, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, could be folded into a continuing resolution being considered by the House to keep the federal government operating beyond March 27. Two Catholic women who run businesses and who appeared at a March 5 news conference on Capitol Hill said they do not want to be forced to choose between their conscience or their business. "Nobody should be asked to make that decision," said Christine Ketterhagen, a co-owner of Hercules Industries, a heating and air conditioning company her father founded in Denver 50 years ago that now has operations in five states with 320 employees. "We went to Catholic schools. Our children went to Catholic schools. Our grandchildren go to Catholic schools," Ketterhagen told Catholic News Service after the news conference. "We're willing to pay for education," she added, but not for contraceptives or other mandated health care coverage that goes against their Catholic faith.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .