Houston Baptist University is grateful for the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the conscience rights of all Americans. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor are announcing two companion interim final rules that provide conscience protections to Americans who have a religious or moral objection to paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive/abortifacient services. Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans are required to cover “preventive services,” a term defined through regulation. Under the existing regulatory requirements created by the previous administration, employers, unless they qualify for an exemption, must offer health insurance that covers all FDA-approved contraception, which includes medications and devices that may act as abortifacients as well as sterilization procedures.
Under the first of two companion rules released on October 6, entities such as Houston Baptist University that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing such services would no longer be required to do so. The second rule applies the same protections to organizations and small businesses that have objections on the basis of moral conviction which is not based in any particular religious belief.
“We are glad the government has finally listened to the Supreme Court,” said HBU President Dr. Robert Sloan. “Our mission has always been driven by our faith, and all we have ever wanted was to live out that faith in every aspect of what we do.”