Catholic Bishops Ask Congress to Overturn Contraceptive Coverage
The U.S. Catholic Church requested that Congress overturn the contraceptive coverage provision under the Affordable Care Act in a letter on Friday. Written to members of Congress, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chair of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, asked that Congress overturn the federal contraceptive coverage requirement by the end of the year.
The policy, which took effect on August 1st, requires employers to cover contraception and other preventive care costs under their healthcare plans with no copay. However, the policy has allowed a one-year delay for all religiously-affiliated entities to comply with the rule, and exempts religious institutions like churches from this policy altogether, requiring insurance companies to provide free birth control to their employees instead.
25 lawsuits have been filed against the policy in the last year, mostly by religious groups, though the letter remarks that this litigation will take too long. "The fundamental importance of the religious freedom issue at stake demands a timely congressional response," wrote DiNardo.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 8/6/12; Sacramento Bee 8/6/12; The Hill 8/5/12; Letter, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities 8/3/12