Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Catholic Institutions Sue to Evade Birth-Control Mandate

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Forty-three Roman Catholic dioceses, schools and social service agencies (none in Idaho) filed lawsuits in 12 federal courts Monday, asking judges to release them from the obligation to cover contraception in their health care plans.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that all health plans cover birth control. However, the Catholic institutions' law firm Jones Day explained in a statement that the rule "requires religious organizations to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate insurance coverage for services that violate their religious beliefs."

In February, President Barack Obama offered a compromise that requires health insurance companies, rather than religious-affiliated groups, to pay for employees' contraceptives.

However, the nation’s Catholic bishops argue his tweaking of the law did not solve the problem in that Catholic organizations are still compelled to go against their beliefs and provide birth control.

Among those filing suit were the archdioceses of New York, Washington and St. Louis; the dioceses of Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Rockville Centre on Long Island and Springfield, Ill.; the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic University of America; and Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic publication.

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