US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

New Federal Proposal on Contraception Potentially Illegal

Senator Calls for Changes to Exempt Religiously Affiliated Hospitals, Charities and Universities

Wednesday, February 08, 2012Joe Brenckle 202-224-2465

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today questioned the constitutionality of the recent proposed regulation announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on insurance coverage for contraception.

“This unprecedented intrusion into the core functions of religiously affiliated employers raises serious procedural issues, as well as fundamental constitutional questions regarding the legality of these actions,” wrote Senator Enzi.  “The announcement of this policy raises serious procedural concerns and will force these institutions to violate basic precepts of their religious beliefs in order to comply with the regulation. Such a requirement is an unconscionable violation of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment and the clear precedent recently expressed by the Supreme Court with regard to the rights of religious organizations.”

Enzi said the goal of the letter is to force the Administration to rethink its position and adopt a broader exemption for religiously affiliated schools, hospitals and charities from this mandate.

Senator Enzi’s letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is attached.

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