Obamacare’s abortion mandate went into effect yesterday, and there continues to be a great deal of confusion over the law’s trampling of religious liberty. The public by and large still believes that this is a debate over access to contraception. That is incorrect. No doubt the misunderstanding owes in part to the way the mainstream media have covered the issue.
On NBC’s nightly news broadcast last night, for example, the report spoke only of Obamacare’s coverage for “preventative care” and “contraception” without any mention at all about the fact that Obamacare forces Christians and other religious people to pay for chemical abortions. The report basically presented an argument in favor of the abortion mandate without ever mentioning abortion. Watch the video above, and see for yourself.
With this kind of coverage, it’s no surprise that many Americans have simply not paid attention to this bona fide religious liberty violations provoked by this law. At bottom, this debate is about forcing citizens to pay for services that violate their consciences, and many Americans seem unaware of that.
That is why I want to bring to your attention Joe Carter’s recent run-down of the mandated abortion coverage in Obamacare. It gives concise answers to frequently asked question about what happened yesterday when the law went into effect. In short, here’s what happened:
As of August 1, 2012, employers are now required to offer abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization for their employees. Employers are obligated to provide these services at no cost to their employees through their company’s health insurance.
What does this mean to Christian organizations and Christian business owners who fail to comply?
If employers don’t change their plans, they will be hit with fines of up to $100 per employee per day. But if they stop providing health coverage, employers with more than 50 employees could be hit with an alternative fine of $2,000 per employee per year.
As the Heritage Foundation has noted, for many companies, the level of these fines would mean going out of business. Applying the $100 per employee per day fine to Hercules Industries—a family-owned business with 265 employees that is challenging the mandate in Colorado—would mean a fine of $795,000 per month ($100 per day x 30 days x 265 employees)—over $9.5 million per year.
However, if Hercules were to drop its health coverage, forcing its employees into government-run exchanges under Obamacare, it would face a fine of approximately $2,000 per employee per year ($2,000 x 265 employees), for a total of $530,000 per year.
This is draconian, but it is a reality in our country as of yesterday. Many of these Christian businesses have asked for emergency relief from the courts. I noted one last week which was granted such relief by a federal court. But for the vast majority, they are not caught between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t get some relief, they will either have to compromise their beliefs or go out of business.
The debate of the abortion mandate is only just getting started. In the meantime, get educated on the abortion mandate by reading Joe Carter’s FAQ’s.