The White House will announce a move to accommodate religious organizations on its rule for health insurance coverage of contraceptives,ABC News reported on Friday,but said the proposal is unlikely to satisfy Catholic Church leaders.
The proposal will be respectful of religious beliefs,but the White House was not abandoning its central goal for women employees of religious institutions,including schools and hospitals,to be fully covered by health insurances plans.
One possibility would be to mimic several state laws that let religious employers opt out of covering birth control in their insurance packages,so long as they refer women to a provider that will offer the benefit at low cost,sources have told Reuters.
Catholic leaders have already declared that plan toxic,arguing that referring women to low-cost contraception is as immoral as distributing the drugs and devices first-hand.
The church must have the freedom to refuse to cooperate in any way in making these ‘services’ available,Bishop William Lori,who heads a committee on religious liberty,wrote on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops blog.
Several prominent Catholic leaders have indicated in recent days that they are in no mood to compromise and will not accept anything short of the Obama administration withdrawing the regulation that all health insurance plans provide free contraception with no co pays and no deductibles as a part of basic preventive care.
So far,the church’s protests have focused mainly on their fear that the requirement abridges their religious freedom. But several Catholic leaders are now raising a second issue – concerns that the promise of free birth control for all will infringe upon parental rights by making it easier for teenagers to get access to contraception on their own initiative.