Matt Bowman, senior counsel for the religious liberty legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said the mandate “tramples parental rights” because it requires them to “pay for and sponsor coverage of abortifacients, sterilization, contraception and education in favor of the same for their own children.”
The Department of Health and Human Services ruled in January 2012 that most employers who have 50 or more employees must provide the coverage as “preventive care” for “all women with reproductive capacity.” The mandate also requires the coverage for beneficiaries, including minors, on the affected health plans, Bowman told CNA Sept. 20. That means that a minor on her parents’ plan could be sterilized if she finds a doctor willing to perform the procedure.
“She can be sterilized at no cost,” Bowman stated. “Whether her parents will know and/or consent might differ by state. But the Guttmacher Institute and other abortion advocates explicitly advocated for this mandated coverage of minors so that access without parental involvement might be able to increase.”
The Guttmacher Institute, in a Sept. 1 briefing on state policies, said that an increase in minors’ access to reproductive health care over the last 30 years shows a broader recognition that “while parental involvement in minors’ health care decisions is desirable, many minors will not avail themselves of important services if they are forced to involve their parents.” The institute, the former research arm of abortion provider Planned Parenthood, said that 26 states and the District of Columbia allow all minors 12 years and older to consent to contraceptive services. At least one state, Oregon, allows 15-year-olds to consent to sterilization.
There are presently 30 lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate in federal court on religious freedom grounds.
CMDA Executive Vice President Gene Rudd, MD: “'Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.'
"Sadly, in today’s society, we as parents have to warn our children to avoid adults who try to lure them into doing things that might be dangerous, even deadly. Stereotypically, it is the shady character on the street corner who invites your child to pet his dog or enjoy his candy.
"But what do we do when it is the government or an agency operating with government funds doing this? They also have an agenda, and they wish to entreat our children to take part in that agenda even when we as parents do not approve. And worse, our laws have morphed to make it legal! Yes, there are some differences between their agenda and that of a pedophile, but the outcomes can be just as destructive to the wellbeing of the child and the family.
"So now we must warn our children that adults serving in public positions, those with an element of authority over their lives, might also lure them into behavior contrary to their moral training and dangerous to their health. And as a more definitive step, we must take steps to reverse this social engineering.
"I realize there is an argument to be made for providing care for children in exceptional circumstances, but allowance for the exception has become the rule for all. We must now require our government leaders to scrap the onerous rule that allows for this (included in the Affordable Care Act) and replace it with healthcare reforms that do not undermine the family."