U.S. Clarifies Policy on Birth Control for Religious Groups

New York Times 

ROBERT PEAR 

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration took another step on Friday to enforce a federal mandate for health insurance coverage of contraceptives, announcing how the new requirement would apply to the many Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies that insure themselves. 

In such cases, the administration said, female employees and students will still have access to free coverage of contraceptives. 

The coverage will be provided by the companies that review and pay claims — “third-party administrators” — or by “some other independent entity,” it said. 

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the government would guarantee women access to contraceptives “while accommodating religious liberty interests.” 

The new proposal escalates the election-year fight over the administration’s birth control policy. 

President Obama had previously announced what he described as an “accommodation” for religiously affiliated organizations that buy commercial insurance but object, for religious reasons, to covering contraceptives and sterilization procedures. In these cases, the White House said, the insurer “will be required to provide contraception coverage to women free of charge.” 

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services went a step further and said it would propose a similar requirement for group health plans sponsored by religious organizations that insure themselves. 

The new proposal did not mollify Republicans in Congress. 

“It’s a Washington accounting gimmick,” Representative Jeff Fortenberry, Republican of Nebraska, said Friday in an interview. “The administration is twisting itself in all directions to expand the ‘accommodation’ for faith-based institutions. Why is it the government’s role to decide who gets an accommodation? The White House is creating an unnecessary political firestorm.” 

Mr. Fortenberry has introduced a bill to let certain employers and insurers opt out of the mandate for contraceptive coverage. More than 220 House members have signed on as co-sponsors.

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America's Party Endorsed Independent Projects -> Free the First Amendment Committee

BigGovernment.com

Ron Futrell

The media is calling the Barack Obama attack on the Catholic Church a “culture war.” Culture War. The words and graphics are everywhere. It was the ABC News headline one morning, “Candidate’s Culture War” is what the graphic said. As if this is some sort of battle between Obama and the Republican candidates. Yes, it is that, but it us much, much more.

This is also a fight much larger than “culture.” Culture is something that defines art and common belief. Culture is something that changes with the times and can actually be defined as you wish. Much of our culture today is not what it was 50, 100, or 200 years ago. What I think is culture, may not be what you think is culture. Yes, there is an “American culture, and I believe I know what it is, but I certainly don’t trust the media or this President (who would probably see me as a “bitter” American who “clings to guns and religion”) to tell me what it is.

The Constitution doesn’t work that way, certainly not the First Amendment which guarantees religious liberty and expression. I would like to think the Constitution would define our culture, but sadly that is not always the case. For the media to call this a “culture war” greatly diminishes its value, this is a battle over the First amendment of the US Constitution. Obama wants the Constitution circumvented to pander to his base, I would hope that most of us would be united with the Catholic Church in wanting it protected.

The new part of the ObamaCare law (that nobody read before they voted on it) says that churches that provide health care and insurance, must also provide contraceptives. The Catholic Church opposes contraception.

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_Equal Protection for Posterity

LifeSiteNews.com

by Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON - After being deluged with complaints from outraged religious groups, Obama’s health department has dug in its heels, saying its decision to force employers to provide abortifacient birth control drugs will continue as planned - although faith-based groups will be given a year reprieve. In response, U.S. Catholic bishops have not minced words, vowing to fight the order as “literally unconscionable.” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday that faith-based entities like hospitals and universities will have until August 1, 2013 to provide employees with free birth control as part of their insurance packages. The mandate will also force such groups to pay for sterilizations and, because the FDA has approved abortifacient drugs such as Ella as “contraception.”

The mandate is being implemented as part of the new health care legislation that was passed in March 2010 despite vigorous opposition from U.S. Catholic bishops, who called it dangerously open to being used as a means of spreading abortion.

Read this story at LifeSiteNews.com ...

 
 
_Free the First Amendment Committee

Michael Carl:

Not since the Clinton White House, and I can't remember when before that, has there been such an assault on the religious liberties of churches, hospitals, groups, organizations and associations.

This White House is completely hostile to faith, well, to be clear, Christian faith.

We have to do something about it to stop the momentum of this process.

Michael Carl
Political Correspondent
Talk Radio News Service
U. S. Correspondent CKUA Radio Network
mikecarl7@verizon.net 

Washington Post: Obama Administration holds to birth control insurance rule, but gives religious groups more time to comply