Today February 16th, 2012 our President Dr. “Dub” Oliver of East Texas Baptist University joined other religious and University leaders in testifying in Washington D.C. about the new mandate released by the Office of Health and Human Services Director Katherine Sibelius.
House Oversight Link to Contraception Mandate Hearing on Religious Liberty - updated link as the House modified it:
This is the website actually listing the guidelines http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/ the text of the guideline says this about Contraception
Health Resources and Services Administration Supported Women’s Preventive Services: Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines
Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year (in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after August 1, 2012.
All Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.As prescribed.
The Food and Drug Administration states at http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/ucm118465.htm#emerg
(Plan B, Plan B One-Step, Next Choice, Ella)
“The Morning After Pill”
May be used if you do not use birth control or if your regular birth control fails
It should not be used as a regular form of birth control
What is it?
* These are pills with hormones similar to other oral contraceptives.
* They stop the ovaries from releasing an egg or stops sperm from joining with the egg.
How do I use it?
* You can use these after you have unprotected sex (did not use birth control).
* You can also use these if your birth control did not work (i.e. the condom broke).
* You must swallow the pills within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.
* For the best chance for it to work, you should start taking the pills as soon as possible after
How do I get it?
* You can buy it over the counter if you are 18 years or older.
* If you are younger than 18, you need a prescription.
Now despite the characterization that this was a Contraception meeting with no female opinions to rebut the Religious Leaders, the truth is that there were 2 females that testified today
And they were requested and approved by the committee according to the rules that state witnesses must have been submitted 72 hours in advance. The fact that there were no rebuttal witnesses who were women was entirely the Minority’s failure to properly find any women to testify on the matter of Religious Liberty and the Contraception Mandate which was the purpose of the hearing. I listened to several arguments during the hearings and even read news reports of the Attack on Women, the Outrage of a Contraception Hearing disregarding and excluding women. This is a completely false and untrue accusation and needlessly distracts from the Core 1st Amendment Freedom that is encroached by this Regulation. Despite this abject failure by the Minority, they played political games by walking out of the committee and making false press releases, about their own failure, the Chairman still listed the testimony of their chosen witness at the House Oversight Website. They declined to hear from Barry Lynn the approved counter witness who has credentials as a Leader of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The department of Health and Human Services has decided that life A. Does not begin at Conception and any Non Profit Religious organization that does not discriminate and exclude non believers must provide and pay for “Ella” and the “Morning After” pill, these two FDA approved contraception methods directly contradict the clear teachings of many religious organizations and individual believers. The Administration has picked a winner and the loser is the unborn child, and the millions of Religious Schools, Hospitals, Universities, Colleges, and other Organizations that hold that life does begin at Conception. All that was necessary is for them to serve non-believers which of course many of the Universities and Hospitals provide.
This is a clear and evident violation of the “Free Exercise of Religion” from the Constitution and despite the outcry there is no compelling reason nor directive to provide free contraceptive services in either law or the Constitution.
In addition, the Administration has made an “Accommodation” that the rule will be paid for by the Health Insurers instead of by the Organizations, while this makes great headlines, it effectively doesn’t make any difference to the actual Religious Conscience objections outlined, nor was the actual regulation changed in any manner. In the case of our University as many others we are a “Self-Funded” Health Care Plan and the University actually would now directly have to pay for Contraceptive Services that directly violate our truly and scientifically accurate belief that life begins at conception. Reference from Princeton University