WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today denounced the so-called "compromise" on the birth control mandate in the health care law announced today by the White House.
"The President simply doesn't get it. The fact is, for the federal government to require every health care plan in the country to include contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs is wrong," Johanns said. "This is not about who's put in charge of making sure it happens. If it is forced by the government, religious organizations still must provide it and that's a violation of conscience rights, period. That the President wants it to happen at all shows how disconnected he is from the churches, hospitals, and every American whose conscience is violated by this rule.
"When he spoke to the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame, he asserted the need to 'honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause.' Though he may call this a compromise, asking people of faith to turn their backs on their deeply held beliefs is anything but. The one thing you cannot compromise is your conscience, and the only way to avoid this dilemma is to repeal the mandate and protect fundamental rights granted by the Constitution."
Johanns is a cosponsor of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which would repeal the mandate and ensure the new health care law protects the rights of conscience.