A jubilant Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's CEO, trumpeted to supporters on Monday:
Huge, wonderful, important news: Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will require all new insurance plans to cover birth control without co-pays under the new health reform law.
This is one of the biggest victories for women's health in a generation-and you helped make it happen. It took years for us to get to this point.
The free birth control she rightfully claims as a huge victory for Planned Parenthood is, in fact, a huge assault on women's health and the conscience rights of millions of Americans.
The HHS ruling requires provision of free Group 1 carcinogens for women in the form of oral contraceptives. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, lists estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives among 106 other deadly substances like arsenic, asbestos, and tobacco on its most dangerous list of substances-those classified as "carcinogenic to humans."
The deadly effects of contraception on babies, women, the environment, and marriages are well documented. See our website www.thepillkills.com for more information.
As predicted by American Life League, the vehicle used to require the coverage of abortifacient birth control-and eventually surgical abortion-under the guise of preventive medicine is a Trojan horse. Obamacare provided the Trojan horse in the form of a health benefits advisory committee established in the Affordable Care Act. The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on the Determination of Essential Health Benefits is today charged with making recommendations to the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, on the criteria for determining what constitutes essential health benefits for insurance plans sold in exchanges.
Secretary Sebelius, former governor of Kansas, gives credit to Planned Parenthood for raising substantial funds for her gubernatorial bid. And Planned Parenthood's encroachment upon the rights of individuals and religious institutions multiplies under her watch as secretary of HHS.
The religious exemption crafted in connection with the mandate is so narrow that it applies only to nonprofit organizations, and limits the definition of a religious employer to "one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a nonprofit organization."
Thus, millions of Catholics would be required to provide and/or participate in insurance plans with free birth control coverage. It also appears it would force Catholic health care institutions to either provide the coverage, or cease employing and serving non-Catholics.
Since Planned Parenthood has declared that 90 percent of its "services" are preventive, you can bet it is shooting for at least 90 percent of its income to be provided by the taxpayer and insurance policy owners of this nation.
HHS must accept public comments on its ruling over the next 60 days. It is critical that people of good will contact HHS and register their disgust with this mandate that we must pay for other people's birth control-against morality, against our will, and against our religious convictions.
Please go to our action center today and let HHS and other government agencies involved know that this rule is unacceptable and must be repealed.