September 21, 2012 | This panel is part of Contraception and Conscience: A Symposium on Religious Liberty, Women's Health, and the HHS Rule on Provision of Birth Control Coverage for Employees, a conference examining the legal, theological, health, equality, and ethical issues relating to the recent Rule promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on "Coverage of Preventive Services Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
The symposium brought together legal, religious, and cultural scholars and practitioners for a day-long conversation about the increasingly contentious public debate surrounding the HHS Rule requiring employers to subsidize preventive health services for employees, the religious accommodations in the HHS rule, and the lawsuits filed by religious objectors challenging the rule.
What is the nature of the HHS Rule and its religious accommodations? What is the status of the more than two dozen lawsuits challenging the HHS Rule? How are the courts likely to resolve the statutory and constitutional issues? How do claims of religious conscience apply to institutional employers, including for-profit employers? What are the relevant state interests—should the Rule be viewed as simply about enabling access to preventive health care, or also about ensuring equality in the workplace? How do these cases reflect broader trends in the development of the law of religious liberty? How should HHS frame its promised additional religious accommodation?
Martin Lederman, Georgetown University Law Center Louise Melling, American Civil Liberties Union Melissa Rogers, Wake Forest University Divinity School, Center for Religion and Public Affairs Robert Vischer, University of St. Thomas School of Law Lori Windham, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
The conference was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Law Center and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. It was made possible through a grant from the Ford Foundation.