Under the Affordable Care Act, the largest Catholic hospital in New England fears being fined out of existence for refusing to comply with mandates under the law. St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Simsbury, CT, faces fines of $24 Million A MONTH for standing up for its rights of religious freedom in rejecting the contraception mandate on employers under ObamaCare.
Father Tad Pacholczyk told a concerned audience in June that the mandate under ObamaCare “requires employers and insurers to provide a ‘full range of [FDA-approved] contraceptive methods,’ including surgical sterilizations and abortafacients, such as Plan B (the ‘day-after pill’), IUDs and Ella (‘week-after pill’).”
Father Pacholczyk, the director of education for the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), explained that these mandates fall under ‘preventive’ health services, but the crafting of the law was flawed:
There were no invited experts, no testimony from the largest provider of nongovernmental health care: the Catholic Church.
Religious employers who refuse to pay for the insurance based on their religious principles will suffer exorbitant fines. As a result, many may not be able to continue delivering social services to the poor and needy, and ultimately may be forced to close.
It remains to be seen if the hospital’s legal challenge to this mandate will be successful. The Hobby Lobby decision will certainly help, but nothing is certain in this judicial climate. Since the Catholic Church opposes more than just the 4 abortafacient drugs that were at the center of the Hobby Lobby case, this will be a more difficult case to decide.