U.S. Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, M.D. (NY-19) issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration's mandate that violates the right to religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution:
"Coercing our nation's Catholic institutions to provide for services to which the Church is morally opposed is wrong. It infringes upon the exercise of religious freedom that is so essential to our lives as Americans that it is guaranteed in the very first Amendment to the Constitution. The attempt by the Department of Health and Human Services to override certain tenets of the Catholic faith is a chilling reminder of the dangers inherent in conferring power on the federal government to control aspects of our lives that should belong to us as individuals and to our communities. I opposed the massive 2010 health care takeover for this conspicuous reason, among others. If the federal government commands the resources that determine the availability and cost of our health care, and if it has the power to impose penalties on those who choose not to--or cannot--comply with its directives, then we are vulnerable in ways that we need not be and should not be. I hope that President Obama will direct his Administration to respect the deeply-held faith of millions of American Catholics, and that he will take a further lesson from this episode and consider the many other ways in which the 2010 health law threatens our economy and our individual liberty."