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September 10, 2014

Faith Groups to Continue Suits Against Birth-Control Mandate

Three religious nonprofits challenging the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate have signaled that they will press on with lawsuits despite a new White House proposal aimed at alleviating faith groups' concerns, The Wall Street Journal reports. The organizations asked a federal appeals court late Monday to block the requirement that their insurance plans cover birth-control prescriptions, indicating they are not satisfied with the accommodation offered by the Obama administration August 22.

Under that proposal, the federal government will take responsibility for ensuring such coverage at organizations that state in writing a religious objection to the mandate, contacting insurance providers directly. Previously the administration had asked faith groups to designate the providers themselves.

The plaintiffs in Monday's filings said the new plan still makes them complicit in facilitating access to contraception, in violation of their creed. Dozens of religious schools and charities have challenged the mandate in court, seeking a blanket exception to the contraception rule like that granted to houses of worship.