Secular Groups Respond to Obama Administrationís Broadening of Religious Exemptions to Birth Control
February 2, 2013
By Hemant Mehta
Under the Affordable Care Act, churches didnít have to provide employees with birth control they (wrongly) believed caused abortion but other non-profit religious institutions, like Catholic hospitals and Christian colleges, were not exempt. Owners werenít allowed to deny female employees access to comprehensive health care because of their personal religious views. That led to a number of lawsuits against the Obama administration claiming that they were violating religious freedoms.
As of yesterday, though, a new set of rules would accommodate more religious organizations so that theyíre under no obligation to take care of their female employees themselves.
The governmentís new offer, in a proposed regulation, has two parts.
Administration officials said it would more simply define the religious organizations that are exempt from the requirement altogether. For example, a mosque whose food pantry serves the whole community would not have to comply.
1. When both parties have taken a hard stand, a compromise is in order.
Not what I would advocate personally, but I think it's a reasonable compromise. If the administration took a hard stand, I am afraid this would get bogged down in courts and lead to less access for more women for a long time to come.