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.
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