(NASHVILLE, TN), February 16, 2012 — State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) filed a resolution in the State Senate today urging President Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to reverse the administration’s decision requiring all employers to provide birth control as part of their health plans. The birth control mandate is part of the rules implemented as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as spelled out by Sebelius.
Individuals have not been required previously to participate in a health service program or a research activity funded in some part by the United States Department of Health and Human Services if such participation is contrary to their religious beliefs or convictions. The retreat from that position has prompted numerous religious organizations, including Catholic bishops, to announce strong opposition to the interim rule. They have also called for stronger protection of the consciences of religious employers and health plans.
“This action tramples on the liberties of many Tennessee citizens and religious organizations,” said Senator Kelsey. “It could also impose significant costs on Tennessee and other states if religiously affiliated hospitals, schools, universities and agencies which provide social services to the poor are no longer able to continue due to this rule.”
The bi-partisan measure calls for a copy of the resolution to be sent to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and each member of the Tennessee’s congressional delegation upon passage. Senate Resolution 84 is co-sponsored by Senators Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), Mike Bell (R-Cleveland), Jim Summerville (R-Dickson), Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), Rebecca Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville), Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), Ken Yager (R-Harriman), Mike Faulk (R-Church Hill), Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), Doug Henry (D-Nashville), Reginald Tate (D-Memphis), and Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson (R-Hixson).