To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.
(a) Findings.--Congress finds the following: (1) As Thomas Jefferson declared to New London Methodists in 1809, ``[n]o provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority''. (2) Jefferson's statement expresses a conviction on respect for conscience that is deeply embedded in the history and traditions of our Nation and codified in numerous State and Federal laws, including laws on health care. (3) Until enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148, in this section referred to as ``PPACA''), the Federal Government has not sought to impose specific coverage or care requirements that infringe on the rights of conscience of insurers, purchasers of insurance, plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, such as individual or institutional health care providers. (4) PPACA creates a new nationwide requirement for health plans to cover ``essential health benefits'' and ``preventive services'' (including a distinct set of ``preventive services for women''), delegating to the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to provide a list of detailed...