WASHINGTON -- Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said the ongoing debate over a federal mandate requiring employers, including most religious entities, to provide no-cost contraception and sterilization coverage demonstrates the need that a religious right to conscience protection be enacted into federal law.
"Our religious freedom is too precious to be protected only by regulations," Bishop Lori said in a Feb. 13 phone interview with Catholic News Service. "It needs legislative protection."
"More legislators, I think, are looking at it. There's more bipartisan support for it. There should be a lot of pressure exerted on Congress to pass it and for the president to sign it," he said.
Among the bills under consideration is the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.