Laxalt signs on to letter supporting “conscience protections” for health workers with religious objections

The Nevada Independent

Michelle Rindels

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Adam Laxalt has signed on to a letter supporting a new set of regulations that aims to protect health workers who don’t want to perform abortions, help transgender patients transition or take other actions because of religious or moral objections.

Laxalt joined 16 other attorneys general in signing the March 27 letter to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The letter lauds the “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority” regulations, saying it’s important to return to obeying conscience protections enacted by Congress and restore the rule of law in Washington. . . [Full Text]

Update on American HHS birth control mandate controversy: January, 2013

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed a lawsuit against the regulation on behalf of two Ohio companies [Lifenews]. A U.S. District Judge has dismissed suits  filed by the Archdiocese of Washington and four other Catholic nonprofit groups on the grounds that the suits are premature [Bloomberg] Lawsuits filed by Colorado Christian University and Notre Dame University in Indiana have also been dismissed [The Coloradoan; First Things].  The Catholic diocese of Nashville, Tennessee and seven other groups in the state are appealing a lower court ruling against them[The Tennessean].  In Illinois, a temporary injunction has been granted against state legislation that is similar to the HHS regulation because the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Health Care Right of Conscience Act [Georgia Bulletin].  However, the U.S. federal government is appealing a decision to grant a temporary injunction against the HHS regulation to Tyndale House Publishers Inc. of Illinois [Bloomberg].A temporary injunction against the HHS regulation has been granted to a Missouri company, Sharpe Holdings Inc., the third such injunction granted in the state [St. Louis Beacon].    Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli attracted criticism because of his remarks to the effect that the nature of the HHS regulation will only become apparent if people go to jail for refusing to obey it [Reason.com]

For a map and up-to-date overview of lawsuits filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, see the Becket Fund’s HHS Information Central.

Seven states file lawsuit against Obama administration health care plan

Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Florida and Texas have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and the U.S. Department of Labor and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.  The suit alleges violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act through the HHS birth control mandate that will force insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, contraceptives and embryocides.[CNN]

 

Ohio politicians reject or support freedom of conscience in health care

Interviewed by the editorial board of the Toledo Blade about the federal government’s regulation that will force objecting employers to pay for insurance coverage for contraceptive and embryocidal drugs, a candidate for the nomination of the Democratic Party commented “It seems to me if we can land a man on the moon and if we can figure out how to take out Osama Bin Laden, we ought to be able to find a way to do this, where we don’t deny health coverage to any woman, and we protect religious conscience. There has to be a way to do this.”  Other politicians expressed opposition to the regulation or support for it.[Toledo Blade]