On July 31, 2012, President Obama’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) claimed, “The Obama administration will continue to work with all employers to give them the flexibility and resources they need to implement the health care law in a way that protects women’s health while making common-sense accommodations for values like religious liberty.” Religious liberty is far more than a mere “value.” It is a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. The accommodations given are only a temporary “safe harbor” giving exemption from the requirements of the mandate for one year. The mandate would require religious institutions to provide for free abortion-inducing drugs. It would also require secular business owners to provide the same “free” coverage despite the owner’s religious objections. The one year delay is not allowed for these businesses.
This trampling of religious freedom is contrary to the U. S. Constitution, is contrary to biblical commands to protect life, and to “render unto Caesar, the things that are Caesar, and unto God the things that are God’s.” The life of the preborn does not belong to Caesar. We, the 76th General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church, meeting in Lakeland, Florida, August 9-14, 2012, join with others to oppose this mandate and to ask that Christians pray for its elimination. We further encourage Christians to contact their U. S. Senators and U. S. Representatives expressing their opposition.