letter addresses health plans

Friday , July 05, 2013 - 5:37 PM

Staff

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday an open letter titled “Standing Together for Religious Freedom” was released by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and more than 100 national religious leaders and scholars.

The open letter “highlights the threat to conscience posed by the Administration’s mandate that almost all employers cover contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs and devices in their health insurance plans,” a news release states.

At a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington to release the open letter, Lori noted the magnitude of church leaders’ concerns.

“As the Catholic bishops have said from the very beginning, the underlying issue with the HHS Mandate is not about any specific teaching. In fact, other signatories on the letter do not share our view on contraception and probably disagree with us in many other ways, but they understand the core religious freedom issue at stake here.”

Signers of the open letter, the release states, include leaders from a broad spectrum of religious groups, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Orthodox Christian and Jewish leaders, as well as scholars and heads of faith-based institutions and civil rights organizations.

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