This post was written by Hatchet reporter Justin Pennish.
Students spoke out Wednesday night against a federal health care policy that will require faith-based institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients, claiming that the law infringes upon religious liberties and violates Constitutional rights.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced last month that beginning August 2013, the health insurance offered by all secular and religious institutions and hospitals to their employees must cover birth control. The mandate comes in conjunction with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
“To mandate for faith organizations to buy contraceptives is not moral,” GW Catholics Director of Pro-Life Ministry Chris Crawford said.
Members of GW Catholics argued that the government overreached its authority, and speculated that religiously-affiliated organizations may drop their private health insurance entirely rather than comply with the new policy.
“If, for example, a Catholic hospital decides to drop health insurance for their workers, you’re going to have thousands of workers that now don’t have health insurance, or they’re going to have to enter the private market,” Crawford said.
The students advocated for others to contact their members of Congress. An online petition against the policy garnered 27,000 signatures nationwide since Jan. 28.
“This isn’t a culture war, its a question of constitutionality. It’s important that we seize this right now and keep the momentum going,” Crawford said.