Before the dust had cleared following Kathleen Sebelius’ announcement of the HHS Mandate on January 20, 2012, opposition to this abject violation of religious freedom was already fierce.
The pushback against the HHS Mandate was most visibly seen in the hundreds of Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies held throughout the year.
And in unprecedented numbers, Americans registered their objections directly with the federal government.
The Sunlight Foundation recently reported:
Three years after Congress approved President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), contraceptive care remains its most controversial provision, drawing not only more comments than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide, according to an analysis of federal regulations on Sunlight’s Docket Wrench.
More than 147,000 people and organizations have made their voices heard over the debate, most of them opposing the provision that requires that federal agencies have interpreted to mean that women have access to preventive services—including contraception—at no cost. The Catholic Church has led the charge, urging parishioners to write with messages such as “Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs and surgeries to prevent it are not basic health care that the government should require all Americans to purchase.”
Putting that number in context, consider that the second-most commented upon regulation received fewer than 5,000 comments. Among federal regulations that elicit at least some comments, the vast majority—some 89%—receive fewer than 100. Many others don’t receive any comments at all.
This illustrates what we have been saying all along: The pro-life, pro-religious freedom movement owns the grassroots.
Opposition to the HHS Mandate is real, it is strong, and it is widespread. We will not stand idly by while the federal government forces private employers to violate their consciences.