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Smith: It's an "Attack' on Religious Liberty, not an "Accommodation'

Press Conference

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith gave the following remarks at press conference in support of H.R. 1179, The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, on February 15, 2012:

"President Obama's slick public relations offensive on Friday contained neither an "accommodation" nor a compromise nor a change in his coercion rule.

"The final rule promulgated Friday remains a direct, obnoxious, unprecedented government attack on the conscience rights of religious entities and anyone else who for moral reasons cannot and will not pay for abortion inducing drugs--such as ella--or contraception and sterilization procedures in their private insurance plans.

"Mr. Obama is arrogantly using the coercive power of the state to force faith-based charities, hospitals, and schools to conform to his will at the expense of conscience.

"Mr. Obama's means of coercing compliance--ruinous fines of over $2,000 per employee when faith-based organizations refuse to comply--will impose incalculable harm on millions of children--educated in faith-based schools--and the poor, sick, disabled and frail elderly who are served with such compassion and dignity by faith-based entities.

"The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act introduced by Mr. Fortenberry reasserts and restores conscience rights by making absolutely clear that no one can be compelled to subsidize certain so called services in private insurance plans contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions."

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