Please support and work for passage of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467). The Administration’s decision to mandate coverage of sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, makes passage of this measure especially urgent. The March 21 HHS notice of additional rulemaking does not change the coercive mandate itself or its extremely narrow exception for “religious employers.” The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act will ensure that the religious liberty and conscience rights of all participants in our nation’s health care system are respected.
AAUW opposes the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179) because we have long believed that politicians should not insert themselves into the reproductive health care decision-making process, which is a basic element of women’s overall health. If enacted, this bill would allow employers and insurance companies to deny women access to essential health care services such as contraception, maternity care, and HIV and AIDS treatments.