Washington D.C., Sep 26, 2011 / 17:16 pm
Catholics across the U.S. are mobilizing against a proposed Health and Human Services mandate that requires health insurance to cover contraception and provides a narrow exemption for religious groups.
“Under the new rule our institutions would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics,” explained Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee.
“Although this new rule gives the agency the discretion to authorize a ‘religious’ exemption, it is so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social service agencies and healthcare providers,” he warned.
The HHS department announced federal rules on Aug. 1 that will require nearly all new health plans, including those of most religious agencies, to cover all government-approved methods of contraception as well as surgical sterilization.