Walsh agreed what while "a few more ministries" are now exempt, "the mandate itself is just as objectionable and offensive as it was when it was issued a year ago."
For those groups that fall under the accommodation, he said, the government has proposed "nothing more than an accounting gimmick," which many religious employers still consider morally unacceptable.
He also observed that non-religious employers that object to providing the contraceptive coverage are offered no relief under the mandate.
"I think what's most deeply disturbing," Walsh said of the revision, "is that after a year of internal deliberation, the administration still believes that it has the power, on its own, to redefine American religious freedom and restrict protections of those freedoms in a way the federal government has never before considered."
Rep. Chris Smith (R- N.J.), who co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus in the House, also spoke out against the announcement.
"The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else," he said in a Feb. 1 statement.
"The mandate remains a serious violation of religious freedom," he said. "Only the most naïve or gullible would accept this as a change in policy."
Smith explained that the proposed changes are "neither an 'accommodation' nor a compromise," as they offer "no relief for small businesses run by people of faith."
In addition, he said, the new proposal offers no real option for charities, hospitals or schools that wish to provide insurance that "does not violate their moral or religious beliefs."
Organizations that cannot in good conscience accept the terms of the "accommodation" could face "ruinous fines," Smith observed, and if these organizations are forced to shut down, it would harm the most vulnerable members of society, whom they serve.