At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on May 13, CNSNews.com asked Anderson, “What are some of the problems with the HHS regulation?”
The supreme knight said, “The basic problem is it would force Catholics, against their conscience, to violate their conscience, to be involved in, entangled with, to pay for abortifacients and contraceptives and sterilization.”
“And so, in America, where we believe in the free exercise of religion, this is really an imposition against our fundamental, constitutional rights,” he said.
CNSNews.com then asked, “So, you would say it’s an unjust law?”
Anderson said, “Absolutely unjust law. And so that’s why so many people of faith, Catholics, Protestants, and others have stood up against this – because, really, if we want to protect our fundamental right of religious freedom, as Americans, we have to stand against this regulation.”
The regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services mandates that nearly all Americans carry health insurance that offers contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs free of charge (without co-payments). If individuals (or businesses) object to paying for those products and services, they can forego health coverage but they have to pay large penalties to the IRS every year. For some businesses, those penalties could total thousands of dollars a day, millions of dollars a year.
Carl Anderson is the thirteenth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization, with more than 1.8 million members. Anderson serves as a consultant to the Pro-Life Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He holds a law degree from the University of Denver and is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court.
In his letter Anderson said, “The faith that lies at the heart of our charitable activity and our defense of human rights is also the same faith that compels us to oppose participation in a government mandate that would force us to fund, directly or indirectly, health plans that include objectionable services such as sterilization, contraception, or abortion-inducing drugs.”
Anderson also told CNSNews.com that he believed that some of the major problems facing the Church in the United States were, “The question of witness, discipleship, identity and solidarity with the poor. Those I think are our big challenges, what does it mean to be a Christian today especially a Catholic today? How do we witness to that? What does it mean in terms of our identity and how do we have solidarity with others, other Christians and especially the poor?”