Obama Continues To Tell Catholics To Go To Hell
Although the White House believes that it placated the Catholic Church on the issue of mandatory birth control, a growing group of legislators aren't in agreement.
Seven states have filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that nearly all health insurance plans cover contraceptives free of charge, saying that it violates religious freedom and leaves "countless additional religious freedoms vulnerable to government intrusion.
The original mandate would have the church providing birth control and abortion coverage for it's employees - which goes against Catholic doctrine.
The mandate requires no-cost coverage of all contraceptives approved by Food and Drug Administration, including some that can cause an abortion, as well as sterilizations, as part of preventive health services for women. A narrow religious exemption applies only to those employed by houses of worship.
That exemption wouldn't exclude the people that the Catholic church employs in it's hospitals, schools, and social services branches; These outlets serve a good percentage of people who are not of the Catholic denomination.
To counter the heat, Obama offered what looked like a revision on the surface.
In a revision announced Feb. 10, Obama said religious employers could decline to cover contraceptives if they were morally opposed to them, but the health insurers that provide their health plans would be required to offer contraceptives free of charge to women who requested such coverage. He also announced a one-year "safe harbor" before enforcement of the mandate would begin for religious employers.
A growing number of people - not just Catholics - have pointed out that this would still have the church paying for contraception and abortion procedures, albeit in a more round-about way. They also hold firm that this is still a violation of religious freedoms.
If the Obama mandate stands, Catholic leaders have suggested that they would be forced to drop health coverage for their employees - or to only hire Catholics. But, this move would hurt the general population in ways that may not be readily apparent.
Among the options would be to drop health insurance coverage for their employees or to limit hiring only to Catholics in order to fit the administration's "narrow definition of a religious employer," they said.
"Because religiously affiliated hospitals and other organizations are major employers in many communities, ... it is hard to comprehend why this administration would deliberately implement a policy that would have such a detrimental impact," the senators said.