Catholic Action League condemns Mass. bill mandating taxpayer-funded abortions

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To the editor:

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts on Friday condemned the radical new legislation, expanding abortion in the Commonwealth, which was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker this morning.

This draconian measure would impose upon all Massachusetts employers---including those with moral objections to killing pre-born children---an unprecedented state mandate to fund abortions in employee group health insurance coverage.

The religious exemption for such employers is narrowly drawn. It only applies to churches or 'qualified church controlled organizations.' That means that virtually every Catholic college and university in the state, most Catholic secondary schools, and at least half of all Catholic charities---institutions which are church affiliated but separately governed with lay boards---will now be forced, against their sincerely held religious beliefs, to fund abortion.

Pharmacists would be required, without a conscience clause, to dispense Plan B abortion pills, called emergency contraception, which would also be distributed, at taxpayer expense, at public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.

In an unheard of move, this law will also require the Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with Planned Parenthood and Reproductive Equity Now---the former NARAL---in formulating and promulgating state regulations implementing the act.

The legislation had an emergency preamble, which meant it went into effect immediately after the Governor's signature.

The Catholic Action League called the measure "authoritarian, punitive and coercive, where the power of the state will be used to compel pro-life citizens, even religious institutions, to act against their fundamental principles as a condition of operating a business or a non-profit organization in Massachusetts."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: "This law is a broad ranging assault on religious freedom and on the consciences of those who understand abortion to be the taking of innocent human life."

"Obviously, the proponents of choice believe that employers and taxpayers should have no choice when it comes to subsidizing abortion. It would seem that angry abortion advocates actually want to punish supporters of the right to life in retribution for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

"This oppressive law invites a constitutional challenge on First Amendment grounds---the sooner the better. "

- C.J. Doyle

Executive Director, Catholic Action League of Massachusetts

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