Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2012 / 12:45 pm
The Obama administration announced Jan. 20 that it will not expand an exemption for religious groups that object to its requirement for health insurance plans to cover sterilization and contraception – including abortion-causing drugs – free of charge.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a Jan. 20 statement that religious employers who object to providing the coverage will be required to comply with the new law by Aug. 1, 2013, one year later than the initial deadline.
Sebelius noted that “important concerns” had been “raised about religious liberty.”
Those speaking out against the mandate included many Catholic organizations, such as schools, hospitals and social agencies, which serve all people in need, regardless of their religious affiliation.