Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and congressional candidate Wayne Winsley, a Republican from Naugatuck, released statements this week regarding the Obama’s administration’s mandate requiring all employers, including religious-based organizations such as hospitals and schools, which provide health insurance to provide coverage for contraception in employee health insurance plans without a co-pay to its women employees.
The mandate has caused a stir throughout the religious and political world.
Below is what DeLauro had to say during a press conference call earlier this week in response to House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) vow to overturn the mandate.
“As both a Catholic and an advocate of women’s health, I believe that these guidelines strike the necessary balance between increasing access to health care services for women while respecting the religious beliefs of all Americans. These guidelines are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, and include services such as screenings and counseling for domestic violence, services for pregnant women, preventive care visits and screenings for cancer, as well as contraception. These guidelines represent a transformative step forward for women’s health, and I am proud to support them.”
Winsley released a statement on the issue as well this week. Below is a segment of his statement.
“It is, in my opinion, a violation of the First Amendment.
“The first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;’
“To mandate that any church must pay for, purchase, or provide for the purchase of any service or product that violates the beliefs of that church is unconstitutional and un-American.
“It is like saying that Rabbis can no longer perform circumcisions because that is a medical procedure and must be done in the hospital when the child is born or not at all.
“It is like saying that the Muslim custom of Sawm, or fasting during Ramadan is not in keeping with healthy nutritional practices as recommended by government standards and must not be allowed in the workplace.
“This issue is not about birth control or abortion or even Catholics. This issue is all about the First Amendment and Freedom of Conscience, which, by the way simply, means the freedom to believe in the God of your choice and the freedom to worship and practice accordingly.
“Once the federal government is able to regulate what must be condoned and practiced in one faith, it can regulate what must be condoned and practiced in all faiths.
“By supporting this un-American mandate, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is choosing to put politics first and religious freedom second.”