The Catholic Bishops of Colorado believe that HB18-1438 is a grave and unconstitutional encroachment by government into the realm of religion.  The bill requires all individual and group health benefit plans to provide coverage for reproductive health care services, drugs, devices, products, and procedures such as abortion and sterilization.  The bill is a clear and unprecedented violation of religious liberty.

The bill fails to provide religious liberty protections for employers who may have objections to financing insurance coverage of drugs or procedures they find morally objectionable.  The legislation keeps in place the insufficient 4-part legal definition of “religious employer” which fails to protect charitable organizations, hospitals and schools sponsored by religious organizations, as well as private organizations. These entities would be forced by this bill to pay for insurance coverage they find objectionable.

Moreover, the language of this legislation creates problems even for those religious employers who do qualify for protection under the religious exemption provision. The bill prohibits insurance plans from imposing “restrictions or delays” with regard to coverage of services, drugs, devices, products or procedures, a standard that may not be possible for religious employers which are in the process of obtaining a religious exemption and notifying enrollees.

We support those provisions of HB18-1438 that deal with screenings for diseases, such as breast cancer and cervical cancer.  We find it deplorable that these important women’s health issues are being used as a pawn by abortion and contraception advocates to limit the influence of religious organizations in public policy and to drive the Church out of the business of education, health and human services.
The Church has an obligation to serve, and therefore, it needs the freedom to serve without government coercion of conscience and intrusion into religious beliefs.

The Colorado Legislative Session ends next Wednesday so this bill will move very quickly. Please click on the link at the bottom of this page and ask your Representative to OPPOSE this dangerous and unneeded bill ASAP.