The Mount Voices Protest of HHS Mandate to President Obama
Emmitsburg, Maryland - In a strongly-worded open letter to President Barack Obama printed in the March 12th edition of the Washington Post, Mount St. Mary’s University voiced its protest of the federal government mandate requiring the provision of sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in all health care plans as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
See Washington Post Letter
The Board of Trustees adopted a resolution on March 5 denouncing the mandate and registering its protest. Eugene M. Waldron, Jr., chairman of the University Board of Trustees, and University President Thomas H. Powell, signed the letter to President Obama.
The university calls on the White House to provide an immediate religious exemption for all Catholic institutions, and other employers, to preserve the religious liberty at the heart of the Mount’s, and the country’s, founding. The mandate requires religious Americans, and other men and women of goodwill, to act against their conscience. Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services has refused to grant the standard and expected religious exemption called for by the First Amendment.
“Compelled by the Catholic teaching on human dignity, Mount St. Mary’s has a longstanding commitment to providing quality health care benefits to employees and students in need. The mandate compromises our ability to provide health care in accord with our religious mission. The Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees, along with the entire Mount community, protests in the strongest possible terms this unjust and intrusive mandate,” the letter to President Obama stated.
Father John DuBois, who fled religious persecution from his native France in the late 18th century, founded Mount St. Mary’s University in 1808. The Mount is America’s second-oldest Catholic university.
“Father John Dubois could have stayed in France in the late 18th century, as long as he didn’t try to practice his faith. But he was called to live his faith in service to others. So, fleeing the persecution of an overreaching secular government, Fr. Dubois arrived in a new nation, one founded on basic principles of freedom – most notably the fundamental right of religious liberty,” the letter added.