Birth Control Mandate: Hhs Offers New Way For Religious Employers – Yahoo News

The administration is still working out the definition of closely held for-profit company. Women across the country deserve access to recommended preventive services that are important to their health, no matter where they work, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said, in a statement. Todays announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by nonprofit organizations and closely held for-profit companies. The birth control mandate in Obamacare has spawned dozens of lawsuits, on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional infringement of religious freedom. Advocates for religious employers said they would review the new rules before issuing an assessment. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed disappointment in the rules. On initial review of the governments summary of the regulations, we note with disappointment that the regulations would not broaden the religious employer exemption to encompass all employers with sincerely held religious objections to the mandate, said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the bishops conference, in a statement. Instead, he said, the regulations would only modify the accommodation, under which the mandate still applies. Also, by proposing to extend the accommodation to the closely held for-profit employers that were wholly exempted by the Supreme Courts recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the proposed regulations would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom, Archbishop Kurtz said. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents numerous organizations challenging the birth control mandate, issued a preliminary response.
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