Hatch: Obamacare Reg Would Force Religious Employers to Provide Abortifacients

By Erick Hamme | October 12, 2011 | 12:47 PM EDT

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), said Tuesday that a regulation the Obama administration has proposed under the new health-care law enated last year would require religious employers to provide their workers with abortifacients, which are drugs that kill an unborn child.

He also said that what he perceived as Obamacare's threat to individual liberty was "one of the most serious issues we’ve ever seen in the history of this Republic. ”

At an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, CNSNews.com asked Hatch: “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops came out recently and made the statement that [Health and Human Services] Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius’s proposed regulations, that would require all private health plans to cover sterilizations, and all FDA-approved contraceptives that include even abortions--they claimed that this was an unprecedented attack on religious liberty. Would you agree with that?”

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Hatch responded: “This administration has imposed upon religious beliefs and religious employers provisions that literally would lead to having to give abortifacients, and it is very ambiguous on that point, and also other matters that many religious institutions are opposed to.  And government shouldn’t be doing that.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

“If you’ll notice, there seems to be an erosion of First Amendment rights, especially religious rights," said Hatch. "I don’t want to see us erode the rights of free people to believe the way they want to, and to worship the way they want to, and to support religious institutions the way they want to.”

“These are very important issues,” Hatch said. “And I have to say that there is such a desire to force their [the administration’s] will on everybody, with regard to abortion, that they’ll do it by hook or crook. And that [regulation] would be by crook, as far as I’m concerned.”

Hatch was at the Heritage Foundation to deliver a speech entitled, “Why Obamacare is Harming, Not Helping, Our Health Care System and Our Economy.”

Hatch listed a range of reasons why he believes Obama's health-care law must be overturned. These included the unconstitutionality of the “individual mandate” that all Americans must purchase a government-defined health insurance plan; the economic burden the plan would place on individuals and businesses; and the increased control over people’s lives that the government would exercise under the plan.

Hatch called for total repeal of Obamacare. He described the potential threat posed by the plan as “one of the most serious issues we’ve ever seen in the history of this Republic. ”