The Corner

Even Chris Shays

From a liberal northeast Republican:


February 8, 2012

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

I write to you as a former member of Congress and candidate for the United States Senate from Connecticut to ask that you reverse your decision mandating religious-affiliated institutions offer their employees contraceptive products. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has overreached its authority and infringed on the constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.  The implications are alarming.

I support reproductive freedom for women, but I do not support this new requirement.  Employees have constitutional rights—and so do employers. 

I urge you to abandon your ruling and implement adequate religious exemption criteria that take into consideration the religious freedom of employers.  Religious institutions have constitutional protections and employees recognize this reality when working for these institutions.  

HHS needs to expand its religious exemption criteria—similar to language used in states across America—to cover all religious-affiliated establishments. 


Christopher Shays

Former member of Congress and,

Candidate for United States Senate


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