Help Ensure Conscience Rights & Religious Liberty
February 13, 2014 – Legal challenges are pending against controversial federal healthcare mandates that threaten employers’, organizations’, and individuals’ conscience rights and religious liberty–specifically, the HHS Mandate requiring all insurance plans to cover abortion-inducing drugs, birth control, and sterilizations at no cost.
Ohio State Representatives Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland) and Timothy Derickson (R-Hanover Township) have introduced the Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Ohio’s RFRA is currently in the House Judiciary Committee, and resembles the federal RFRA, signed by President Clinton in 1993 to prevent laws that restrict a person’s free exercise of religion.
The federal RFRA applies to federal statutes, but not to state laws. Thus states must pass their own Religious Freedom Restoration Acts to uphold and protect citizens’ First Amendment Rights.
Ohio is not one of the seventeen states that have already passed their own RFRA. America has historically protected religious liberty and conscience rights, but Ohioans must act now to formalize that protection.
Ohio’s RFRA requires that a compelling government interest be proven before state or local law can force any Ohioan to do anything that violates their deeply held religious beliefs.
Examples of those the RFRA will protect include:
- Pharmacists who will not fill prescriptions for abortion-inducing drugs
- Nurses who will not participate in abortion and other immoral practices
- Bakers who will not prepare wedding cakes for same sex couples’ ceremonies
- Students who wear t-shirts to school with a biblical or pro-life message
- Citizens who pray in public
Action: Contact your state representative to support Ohio’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.