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"'Shame'" Continued...

Rep. Gerry Connelly, D-Va., called down "shame" on the religious leaders for coming to testify. "You are here to testify that your rights are being trampled on-an overstatement if there ever was one," he said. "I'm very sad you've chosen to participate … as if people are going to jail over this. … Everyone knows this is not true."

Harrison, for one, has said he would go to jail before violating his conscience. "We must obey God rather than men, and we will," he said.

Representatives from the Protestant churches and colleges emphasized that they don't have moral objections to contraception, but to covering abortifacients, Plan B, and Ella, which are Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives included in the mandate.

"It is ridiculous to claim that organizations like mine don't care about women's health," testified Samuel Oliver, the president of East Texas Baptist University. "We already cover preventive services including contraception under our employee's health plan. We simply object to a few drugs … that cause abortion. …We are offended that this administration says we aren't religious enough to have our religious beliefs respected."

Democrats entered into the official record information about how many religious colleges cover contraceptives. Bishop Lori said that even if a minority of Americans oppose the use of contraceptives, "Does that give the government the right to punish that minority belief with coercive power? The answer is no."

Listen to a report on this House hearing on WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD Magazine from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emlybelz.


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