Archdiocese Local

Senators criticize HHS contraceptive mandates

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Following on the heels of a letter from the bishops of Kansas, some U.S. senators have criticized new U.S. Department of Health and Human Service mandates.

The rules implement part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

On Oct. 6, a group of 28 Republican senators — including Kansas’ Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran — sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. They asked her to redraft the Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services and to provide information relating to the creation and issuance of the mandates.

The senators criticized the new guidelines as a threat to constitutional rights to religious liberty and personal conscience. The senators accused HHS of failing its obligation to consider the ramifications of the guidelines and said the time allowed for public comment was too short. They expressed concerns about abortifacients in the mandates.

In their letter, senators included excerpts from the Kansas bishops’ Sept. 6 letter to Sebelius and criticized her characterization of public comments. “You seem to suggest that most religious persons had no concerns with any requirements that contraceptive services be included, but this hardly squares with the public feedback that we are hearing from religious persons and institutions,” wrote the senators.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

Leave a Comment