For immediate release:             For more information:

Friday, April 5, 2013                               Mary Anne Buchanan, Communications Director (304) 594-9845





West Virginians for Life supports the efforts of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to urge increased religious freedom protections under ObamaCare.   Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had issued a ruling requiring everyone offering health care under the new ObamaCare regulations to provide contraception free of charge.  This includes methods that produce early abortions.

Following organized protests from religious organizations, including the Catholic Church, a narrow exemption was proposed by HHS that only protected the religious rights of churches, but not those of religious-based church programs (such as schools and hospitals), individuals and businesses.  These groups and individuals protested that they were being forced to pay for treatments that violated their personal religious faith.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined with attorneys general from 12 other states to send a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking that the exemptions be expanded to include anyone, who had faith-based concerns about being forced to buy something in the insurance that violated their religious beliefs.  They pointed out that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “requires the federal government to use the least restrictive means to accomplish a compelling government interest.”

Morrisey told the West Virginia Record:  “HHS’s proposed amendments fail to address the deep faith-based concerns that many organizations and businesses have with the government demanding that they pay for certain types of health care services.  The proposed amendments violate the religious freedoms on which this country was built because they allow houses of worship to be exempt from a mandate, but they do not apply the same principle to nonprofit or for-profit companies with faith-based objections.”

Wanda Franz, Ph.D., President of West Virginians for Life said, “The pro-life movement in West Virginia acknowledges and supports the efforts made by the Attorney General to protect the religious freedoms of all West Virginians.”

Morrisey April 2013 Press Release pdf