Hoeven Cosponsors Legislation to Protect Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON — Senator John Hoeven is cosponsoring legislation that would protect the rights of religious institutions to provide insurance or services that align with their guiding values and deeply held beliefs. This bill would reverse the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Jan. 20 mandate to require employers, including most faith-based institutions, to provide insurance coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization.

“The Administration’s refusal to exempt faith-based institutions whose values oppose these drugs, devices and procedures from paying to insure them is a violation of religious liberty,” Hoeven said. “Religious freedom is among our country’s founding principles, and I firmly believe that Congress should protect the right for any health professional or institution to negotiate a health plan or provide medical care without violating deeply held values and religious beliefs.”

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (S. 2043) exempts any provider, plan or employer from providing contraception or sterilization services if such services violate the provider’s or employer’s conscience. Hoeven is cosponsoring the bill with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in response to the Obama Administration’s mandate that faith-based institutions must include coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization in any insurance plan they provide.