Now Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is not radical enough to work at Rite Aid

Jonathan Imbody*

Tolerance. Diversity. Broad-mindedness. Those are the words.

Bullying. Discriminating. Compelling. Those are the deeds.

The contradictory words and deeds often come from one and the same individuals–and in a case I learned about today, companies. Turns out the words of tolerance, diversity and broad-mindedness only apply to those who comply with the dogma and submit to the will of the speakers.

Here’s an email I received this morning from a pharmacist member of the Christian Medical Association:

“Subject: Forced to resign over mandate to sell the morning after pill.

“Just to let you know that Rite-Aid corporation came out with a stricter policy on July 5, 2013 that requires all employees to accommodate the sale of the morning-after pill to all comers, of either gender and of any age.  I tendered my resignation within the hour, it was accepted, and my last work day is July 20th.  I realize that I am an ‘at will’ employee and I do not expect any recourse. Just for your information to add me to the list of those quitting pharmacy solely because of the policy change.  Keep up the good work. The battle rages.  The Lord is able to supply our needs.”

Remember that even the Obama administration health department opposed the unlimited sale of the morning-after pill, citing health concerns. So presumably, even the radically pro-abortion Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, is not radical enough to work at Rite Aid.

Unfortunately, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama trashed the only federal regulation protecting health care professionals from discrimination and firings for reasons of conscience. They and other abortion advocates also can’t seem to muster enough liberality to support the tolerant, diversity-respecting and broad-minded principles of the Healthcare Conscience Rights Act (S 1204 and HR 940).

While the regulation and the law apply specifically to government-funded programs, each can help establish an environment of true respect for conscience, tolerance and diversity that will protect health care professionals nationwide. Until then, pharmacists, obstetricians and family docs who still adhere to the Hippocratic oath and faith tenets remain subject to job loss, discrimination and ostracism for their life-affirming views.

Jonathan Imbody
Vice President for Government Relations,
Christian Medical Association 
CMA Washington office: P.O. Box 16351 • Washington, DC 20041
703-723-8688 (office) • 703-434-9794 (mobile)
Director, Freedom2Care – 50 groups and 29,000 individuals advancing conscience rights

President Obama announces promise to accommodate objecting employers

President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a news conference today and promised to revise a regulation that has ignited a firestorm of protest across the United States. However, the details provided in the White House “Fact Sheet” suggest that the administration is simply reaffirming the existing regulation while making a promise work with objecting institutions to find a compromise during a one-year grace period.  This is essentially what Secretary Sebelius announced  on 20 January.  What is new is the suggestion that coverage might be offered by insurance companies without the active participation of employers who object.  When developing the proposal, the administration did not consult with the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has been the most determined and vociferous critic of the regulation.

The proposal was not published in the United States Federal Register on 10 February, as promised by the White House “Fact Sheet”.


154 members of US Congress protest HHS regulation forcing birth control coverage

154 members of the US House of Representatives from both Democratic and Republican parties have signed a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stating that the regulation that forces objecting employers to provide insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, contraceptives, and embryocidal  drugs is “an unprecedented overreach by the federal government that infringes upon rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”  They asked that the regulation be suspended until it is certain that employers and individuals “are afforded their constitutionally protected rights.”

Sebelius defends forced coverage: USA Today editorial opposes it

Writing in USA Today, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has defended her plan to force employers to pay for insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, contraceptives, and embryocidal drugs.  She avoids the issue of coercion of employers entirely and claims that the narrow ‘religious exemption’ is adequate, despite nationwide protests to the contrary [See Map of institutions resisting the HHS “preventive services” mandate].  The USA Today editorial stated that “the Obama administration didn’t just cross” the line separating church and stated, but “galloped over it, requiring employers affiliated with the Catholic Church to include free birth control in their health insurance plans.”