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February 08, 2013

Catholic Bishops Reject White House Contraception Compromise

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday that the Obama administration's latest proposal on insurance coverage for birth control does not go far enough to accommodate religious charities, hospitals, and schools and that they will continue to fight the regulation in court, writes The New York Times.

The bishops announced their objections six days after the White House issued a revised version of the rule allowing faith-based groups to opt out of paying for birth-control coverage. Female employees would be able to get free contraceptives through separate policies paid for by insurance companies.

The mandate already included an exemption for churches and religious groups whose primary mission is spreading a faith message. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the new plan "appears to offer second-class status" to other faith-based nonprofit groups.

The Catholic leaders also criticize the administration for refusing to exempt private businesses whose owners claim a religious objection to contraceptive coverage.