The Obama Administration announced today that it’s made a compromise about birth control coverage.
The White House revealed a new accommodation to the Affordable Care Act for religious non-profits that would not require them to pay for their female employee’s contraception. This new provision would cover Catholic schools and hospitals, which could opt-out of paying for birth control by contacting the Department of Health And Human Services.
This doesn’t mean the uncovered employees would be on their own when it comes to the cost of birth control, though. According to The Huffington Post, HHS and the Department of Labor would have a third-party insurer cover the women, so that they would still get the birth control they’ve been promised under President Barack Obama‘s health care act.
“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.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit companies.”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is not completely pleased with this accommodation, and it won’t be until all religiously affiliated organizations are exempt from the responsibility to cover the cost of birth control.
“This is latest step in the administration’s long retreat on the HHS Mandate,” Beckert Fund Senior Counsel Lori Windham, said in a statement. “It is the eighth time in three years the government has retreated from its original, hard-line stance that only ‘houses of worship’ that hire and serve fellow believers deserve religious freedom.
She stated in conclusion, “Ninety percent of religious ministries challenging the mandate have received relief from the courts, and we are hopeful the administration’s new rule will reflect the robust protections that have always been given to religious individuals in this country.”