- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A recent article in The Washington Times says President Obama has announced that “he would exempt not just churches, but also religiously affiliated organizations, from the new rule” forcing almost all private health insurance plans to cover contraceptive drugs and sterilizations (“Parties eye advantage in contraceptives fight,” Web, Thursday). Mr. Obama’s assertion is false.

On the day of the president’s speech, this controversial rule with its incredibly narrow religious exemption was finalized “without change.” The published rule says four times that it is finalizing this policy “without change.”

In a statement that has no legal force, the Obama administration also said it plans to issue an additional rule by next August regarding the mandate to be imposed on the many religious organizations that remain “non-exempt.”

Since it is against these organizations’ consciences to cover such items, insurers - acting on orders from the government - will insert them into the coverage. These items will be included in the health care plan with no additional premium, because - the government says - the insurer will get that money back when it saves the cost of childbirths those employees would otherwise have had.

The administration’s “compromise,” then, is this: These organizations’ health insurance plans must include items that violate their religious and moral teaching. The organization may state a conscientious objection, but it will be overridden. We don’t see this as an advance for religious freedom.



Pro-Life Activities

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


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