MONTGOMERY — A Lauderdale County lawmaker is sponsoring one of the bills GOP leadership says is designed to push back against “Obamacare.”
Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, has pre-filed HB108, the “Religious Liberty Act.” It would allow employers to opt out of providing birth control to employees and “may require its insurer to provide an insurance policy without coverage for contraceptive or abortifacient drugs, devices, or methods because providing or paying for coverage of these drugs, devices, or methods is contrary to the beliefs of the religiously affiliated or motivated employer offering the plan.”
Part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires most employers, including faith-affiliated hospitals and nonprofits, to provide health insurance that includes artificial contraception, including sterilization, as a free preventive service.
More than 40 lawsuits have been filed by religious nonprofits and secular for-profit businesses claiming the mandate violates their religious beliefs, the Associated Press reported today.
Greer was not immediately available for comment about his bill, but issued this statement in a press release.
“The right to practice your religious beliefs is fundamental and God-given, so spiritually minded employers should not be forced to provide contraceptives or participate in the taking of unborn life just because Obamacare decrees it,” Greer said. “Obama and his liberal cronies seem intent on chipping away at our Constitutional rights, and the Religious Liberty Act is intended to serve as a needed fortification against their relentless attacks.”
Greer’s bill likely won’t be the only one to put Alabama at odds with the federal government. It is part of a group of bills under the “We Dare Defend Our Rights” agenda that will get priority next week when the Legislature convenes, GOP leaders say. Other bills include the “Alabama Firearms Protection Amendment” and one to allow local schools to ask for more flexibility from national mandates.