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View it first the ball and primarily.
At the level of principle it is a question of government.
Reaching into the internal governance.
Of religious bodies.
And making a requirement.
To church teaching -- religious people determine what violates their consciences.
Not the federal government.
Please get the federal government mr.
chairman out of our consciences.
What they cannot do.
And that's why we're here today.
Is to achieve this end.
By trampling on the religious freedoms and the liberty of conscience.
Americans and they can't do that because that would be a violation of the constitution but.
Policy is an unconscionable intrusion by the state into the consciences of American citizens.
And contrary to -- trails and some of the popular media.
This is not just a Catholic issues this is clearly an admission of religious liberty and it's it's one -- I I I couldn't -- -- -- coming.
And I I think.
Just to see it is that it is -- anything else is is two completely missed.
The real importance of this issue.
Those voices belong to the more than half dozen leaders of different faith communities.
Testifying on Capitol Hill today over concerns over what they do you.
As the Obama administration trampling on religious freedoms we have both sides of this debate right now starting with Debbie wasserman -- -- the Democratic National Committee chairwoman.
And my guess now -- thank you so much for being here congressman we want them -- the program dark.
I thought I would start would you -- are done to try to get you to see his -- -- -- get try to get him to see your side I.
I thought we can try to move it forward I I know how you view it it in general but.
Can you speak to that concern that that that we just heard those faith leaders talking about that they say it is an issue of religious liberty they feel like even if you support birth control.
You can't force.
-- This kind of thing down the throats of religious leaders who don't believe in contraception.
-- and that's exactly why President Obama on Friday a -- week.
Made sure that he adapted the -- the aliens or a balance between.
Religious liberty and and and making sure that women don't have to choose between that -- now holding their job.
And being able to plan their family and though the accommodation that was made.
While still preserving the contraception will be available without it okay and that without deductible if he made sure that.
If they -- that employer like a Catholic hospital or another related organization.
That they would not have to provide or pay for that contraception but that the insurance company that provides that that that that that that in short their employees would have to make.
Not available let me jump that I could -- -- bill's gonna say when it comes up he's gonna say but many of these institutions are self insured.
And so -- -- -- -- that because for example the archdiocese of Washington -- pointed to that's self insured that's got schools and hospitals with Bennett.
And they're still gonna have to pay for the birth control.
I had well I would say to build it back why the president ensured that -- with a one year transition period though that we could work out those kinds of detail.
And ensure that we can balance the religious liberty and freedom.
And and the concern that -- back.
And the absolute imperative that we need to make -- -- That women in the country have the ability to plan their Stanley and that contraception is affordable contraception Megan and I'm so you've experienced that it.
About 700 dollars a year that's real money.
And did it say new hundreds of thousands.
Women who work or religious organizations know because of your employer at the Jackson.
Whether or not you a chance to use contraception.
You want going to be able to get that -- act back at other employers employers employees can get that act that you.
That's not right that we need to strike a careful balance.
And -- to those who say okay we think the choice I mean and I I'm a Catholic.
Woman so I I -- can speak to that they think that -- a -- -- a lot of work at a Catholic hospital or an institution.
It didn't -- many people have said well then that's the woman making the choice right there shouldn't have to work for Catholic hospital it is foreseeable.
That a Catholic hospitals gonna say hey Kelly when I can't pay for your birth control.
Well they're not -- and and they don't have to pay our you know our insurance company that we you know that the united Internet company will have their response to you is that a woman the women are making the choice in the first instance.
Did Clinton but perhaps weren't all that coverage guys using -- -- -- -- at and political deal by the way the point the accommodation and agrees -- back -- -- comfortable with the with the president that document in the -- the.
And the Catholic hospital.
Well employed hundreds of thousands of American mean to cut them off that -- -- potential employer for any woman that wants to be able to have.
React -- the content that can edit edit available any other person who -- who work very different employer.
That's really not -- that that that those women should be fourth in the making.
Choosing between continuing to hold that hold their job and to be able to have a poor black that the family planning and and let me might add that.
51 -- Catholic women.
The -- the president -- the current you know current document and as many had as many did at that number supported the original deficient because.
It like -- -- content that can expect that.
It's important to be able to be able to plan your family 99%.
Of American -- content -- -- thumb time during their lifetime.
And you know the flip side of that that that.
Religious institution shouldn't be -- posing -- -- value.
Necessarily on -- their employees who don't necessarily subscribe to those values that they need to be a balance.
That US marshals thank you very much we appreciate and -- -- make and these are going to be that you can you get a -- argument now I'm joined by Bill Donohue is president of the Catholic league.
Let's start with with that the business.
About the accommodation.
For example were talking about the archdiocese of Washington which you pointed out -- self insured and it's not just churches within the archdiocese of its its schools and -- a lot.
She says over the next year there will be an attempt to sort of work.
Something out that gives the archdiocese time to work out.
I guess a way around -- -- they'll.
Yes as archbishop Dolan said -- gonna give us a year to apply to -- that we can bilateral conscience.
Look I want everybody to read a splendid article in today's New York Times.
Which indicate that the -- administration didn't even consider.
This whole question about self insurance.
I -- that now -- -- stepped away and say for the next year we're gonna help you in this area they never even considered what do you do with this issue of self insured.
-- only one audit by the way 60% of health care workers in this country are self insured 82% of the health care workers who work at large companies are self insured.
Then we have another problem what about the Catholic league which has -- -- I carry a Christian Brothers what's gonna happen with that Sebelius Kathleen Sebelius of health and human services testified yesterday.
Actually it's that it -- at a Q&A following a testimony.
That the Catholic insurers do not follow Catholic -- she said religious insurers to -- to correct the record.
Religious insurer did not -- their religious -- That is absolutely factually wrong question about this -- most Catholic teachings it does not.
For example -- buy stocks in in the tobacco industry in the military industry or in India what -- Should have been the birth control industry so that's not so much misinformation about this at the -- that this is somehow a secondary or tertiary issue.
-- -- -- would women's rights look.
Federal government today under hostile government -- -- commit and try to shut down fox would that be immediate issue.
-- -- certainly what what would have been first to block balls at First Amendment issue yes there are secondary tertiary issues involved in this mandate.
-- primary number one which is why congressman Schultz and all the other people -- Obama's side wanna run.
The primary issue is a First Amendment right.
And we have -- brought.
The religious freedom restoration act which guarantees.
That the government cannot command and -- I have a compelling that you need to speak personally without question.
Eight to her -- and then I know you're gonna raise legal challenges and -- -- -- verdict in front.
Speaking her point about the women the hundreds of thousands of women -- are working at Catholic hospitals who don't really want to make the choice between.
Getting their birth control covered and losing their job.
Look like I think everybody has an option to work wherever they want.
I -- am I am I gonna go to work for let's they had Muslim outfit and they have Muslim hospitals and others and I -- -- -- and I say you know what.
I don't like to -- your rules they strike me -- really bizarre.
I wanted to get an exemption from the actually what an exemption I want you to change adopted a prerogatives I want you do with the Muslims to get in line with me the Catholic.
I -- look at you like you're out of your mind and why is it that these same people who discovered religious liberty when the ball.
-- to what are the put a mosque.
I've by ground zero that was a religious liberty issue and now all of a sudden it's a woman's issue with the health care issue -- -- these people are.
-- got -- him.
Thank you very much are we appreciate you being here thank you I was the debate and we will be right back -- our panel we're gonna we're.
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