Catholic Leaders and Legal Experts Join Center Director in Rejecting HHS Mandate "Compromise"

posted Sep 6, 2012, 7:54 AM by Notre Dame Center For Ethics and Culture - ( ndethics
In the statement released today, Center Director O. Carter Snead joins legal experts and Catholic Leaders in rejecting the Obama Administration's supposed compromise regarding the contraception mandate. The full text of their statement is included below.


Statement

The Obama administration has offered what it has styled as an “accommodation” for religious institutions in the dispute over the HHS mandate for coverage (without cost sharing) of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. The administration will now require that all insurance plans cover (“cost free”) these same products and services.  Once a religiously-affiliated (or believing individual) employer purchases insurance (as it must, by law), the insurance company will then contact the insured employees to advise them that the terms of the policy include coverage for these objectionable things.

This so-called “accommodation” changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy.  It is certainly no compromise.  The reason for the original bipartisan uproar was the administration’s insistence that religious employers, be they institutions or individuals, provide insurance that covered services they regard as gravely immoral and unjust.  Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services. 

It is no answer to respond that the religious employers are not “paying” for this aspect of the insurance coverage.  For one thing, it is unrealistic to suggest that insurance companies will not pass the costs of these additional services on to the purchasers.  More importantly, abortion-drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives are a necessary feature of the policy purchased by the religious institution or believing individual.  They will only be made available to those who are insured under such policy, by virtue of the terms of the policy.

It is morally obtuse for the administration to suggest (as it does) that this is a meaningful accommodation of religious liberty because the insurance company will be the one to inform the employee that she is entitled to the embryo-destroying “five day after pill” pursuant to the insurance contract purchased by the religious employer.  It does not matter who explains the terms of the policy purchased by the religiously affiliated or observant employer.  What matters is what services the policy covers.

The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.  This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand.  It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept an assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick.

Finally, it bears noting that by sustaining the original narrow exemptions for churches, auxiliaries, and religious orders, the administration has effectively admitted that the new policy (like the old one) amounts to a grave infringement on religious liberty.  The administration still fails to understand that institutions that employ and serve others of different or no faith are still engaged in a religious mission and, as such, enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.

Signed:

John Garvey
President, The Catholic University of America

Mary Ann Glendon
Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

O. Carter Snead
Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame 

Yuval Levin
Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
______________________________________________

[Note:  Affiliations provided for identification purposes only] 

University and College Professors

Jean Bethke Elshtain
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the Divinity School, Department of Political Science and the Committee on International Relations, The University of Chicago

Michael W. McConnell
Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law & Director, Stanford Constitutional Law Center, Stanford University 

Donald Landry 
Samuel Bard Professor of Medicine & Chair, Department of Medicine & Physician-in-Chief, Columbia University

Thomas F. Farr
Director of the Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University

Richard W. Garnett
Associate Dean and Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame 

John B. Londregan
Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Patrick MacKinley Brennan
John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies and Professor of Law, Villanova University

Mark C. Murphy
McDevitt Professor of Religious Philosophy, Georgetown University 

Patrick Griffin
Department Chair and Madden-Hennebry Professor of History, University of Notre Dame 

John Cavadini
Director, Institute for Church Life and Associate Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Gary Anderson
Hesburgh Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame 

Christian Smith
William R. Kenan Professor of Sociology & Director, Center for the Study of Religion and Society, University of Notre Dame 

Harindra Joseph F. Fernando
Wayne and Diana Murdy Endowed Professor of Engineering and Geosciences, University of Notre Dame

William N. Evans
Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

Steven Smith
Class of 1975 Endowed Professor of Law, University of San Diego 

Larry Alexander
Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego 

W. Cole Durham, Jr.
Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law and Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Lynn D. Wardle 
Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law, Brigham Young University Law School

Prof. Alan Mittleman
Professor of Modern Jewish Thought, The Jewish Theological Seminary 

Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik
Director, Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, Yeshiva University

Gilbert Meilaender
Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics, Valparaiso University 

Russell D. Moore, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 

Thomas Kelly
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University 

Michael Stokes Paulsen
Distinguished University Chair & Professor of Law, The University of St. Thomas 

David Lyle Jeffrey
Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities, Baylor University 

Edward R. Dougherty
Robert M. Kennedy '26 Chair
Director, Genomic Signal Processing Laboratory
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University

Director, Computational Biology Division
Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ

Paolo Carozza
Professor of Law and Director, Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame 

Philip Bess
Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame 

Timothy S. Fuerst
Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame 

Gerard V. Bradley
Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

Amy Barrett
Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame 

Sean Kelsey
Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame 

Gabriel Said Reynolds
Tisch Family Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology and Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Notre Dame 

David O’Connor
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Concurrent Associate Professor of Classics, University of Notre Dame

Joseph Kaboski
David F. and Erin M. Seng Associate Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame 

Patrick Deneen
Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor
Director, The Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy Department of Government, Georgetown University

Vincent Phillip Muñoz
Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science
Concurrent Associate Professor of Law
Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

John O’Callaghan
Director, Jacques Maritain Center & Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Daniel Philpott
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame 

Eric Sims
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame 

Mike Pries
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame 

John F. Gaski
Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Notre Dame 

Duncan G. Stroik
Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame 

Rev. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C.
Professor of History, University of Notre Dame 

Bryan T. McGraw
Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations, Wheaton College
 

Timothy Samuel Shah
Associate Director & Scholar in Residence, Religious Freedom Project, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, and
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Government, Georgetown University 

Jacqueline M. Nolan-Haley
Professor of Law and Director, ADR & Conflict Resolution Program, Fordham University          

Rev. Thomas V. Berg
Professor of Moral Theology, St. Joseph’s Seminary-Dunwoodie 

William S. Brewbaker III
Associate Dean and William Alfred Rose Professor of Law, University of Alabama 

William B. Hurlbut, M.D.
Physician and Consulting Professor, Neuroscience Institute, Stanford University 

Micah J. Watson
Director, Center for Politics and Religion and Assistant Professor of Political Science, Union University

Helen Alvaré
Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University 

Michael Moreland,
Associate Professor of Law, Villanova University 

V. Bradley Lewis
Associate Professor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America 

Mark Rienzi
Senior Counsel, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Assistant Professor of Law, the Catholic University of America 

Patrick Lee
Professor of Philosophy, Franciscan University of Steubenville 

Francis J. Beckwith
Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University 

William Imboden
Assistant Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas

Christopher Tollefsen
Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina

Thomas A. Cavanaugh
Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco 

C. Ben Mitchell, PhD
Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University

Gerald R. McDermott
Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion, Roanoke College 

Robert D. Benne
Director of the Center for Religion and Society, Roanoke College

Douglas Henry
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University

Richard Stith
Professor of Law, Valparaiso University

Thomas S. Kidd
Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow, Institute of Religion, Baylor University

Joseph Knippenberg
Professor of Politics, Oglethorpe University 

John D. Woodbridge
Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Rev Prof D. A. Carson
Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
President, The Gospel Coalition

University/College/Seminary Presidents, Deans, and Board Members

Stephen D. Minnis
President, Benedictine College

Robert Bryan Sloan Jr
President, Houston Baptist University

Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, O.P.
President, Aquinas College (TN) 

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Daniel Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 

Timothy O’Donnell
President, Christendom College 

David Dockery
President, Union University 

Dr. William K. Thierfelder
President, Belmont Abbey College 

Carl E. Zylstra
President, Dordt College

Michael F. McLean
President, Thomas Aquinas College (CA) 

Samuel W. "Dub" Oliver, Ph.D.
President, East Texas Baptist University 

H. James Towey
President, Ave Maria University 

Bernard F. O’Connor
President, DeSales Unviersity 

Father Terence Henry, TOR
President, Franciscan University of Steubenville 

William Edmund Fahey
President, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (NH)

Marianne Evans Mount
President, Catholic Distance University 

Brian Kelly
Dean, Thomas Aquinas College (CA)

Thomas Hibbs
Honors College Dean and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, Baylor University 

Donna Bethell
Chairman of the Board, Christendom College 

Journalists

R.R. Reno
Editor, First Things 

Ryan Anderson
Editor, Public Discourse 

Kathryn Jean Lopez
Editor at Large, National Review Online 

Ramesh Ponnuru
Senior Editor, National Review

Matt Schmitz
Deputy Editor, First Things 

Justin Taylor
Blogger, "Between Two Worlds," The Gospel Coalition 


Independent Scholars and Activists

Nancy Matthews
Former Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport

George Weigel
Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Chuck Colson
Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries

Edward Whelan
President, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Michael Novak
George Frederick Jewett Scholar Emeritus in Religion, Philosophy and Public Policy, American Enterprise Institute 
Board member, Ave Maria University

Michael Cromartie
Evangelicals and Civic Life Program, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Brian W. Walsh
Executive Director, American Religious Freedom Program, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Patrick Fagan
Senior Fellow and Director, Marriage & Religion Research Institute

Austin Ruse
President, C-FAM

Father Jonathan Morris
Author, Televison Analyst
Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, NYC

Maggie Gallagher
Institute for Marriage and Public Policy

Robert C. Odle, Jr.
Partner, Weil Gotshal and Manges

William Saunders
Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel, Americans United for Life

Charmaine Yoest
President, Americans United for Life

Nikolas T. Nikas
President and General Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund

Dorinda C. Bordlee 
VP, Chief Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund

Elizabeth Kirk
University of Notre Dame Fund to Protect Human Life

Matthew J. Franck
Director, William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution,The Witherspoon Institute

Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty