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US bishops urge HHS: No contraception, sterilization mandates in health care

September 21, 2010

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging the Department of Health and Human Services not to include contraception and sterilization on its list of preventive services that insurers will be obligated to provide under health care legislation passed in March. Planned Parenthood is lobbying for a federal mandate that would compel insurance providers to offer contraception free of charge, without copayments, to all Americans with health insurance.

“These drugs, devices and procedures prevent not a disease condition, but the healthy condition known as fertility,” wrote Anthony Picarello, USCCB general counsel, and Michael Moses, associate general counsel. Such a mandate would violate the “rights of conscience for religious employers and others who have moral or religious objections to these procedures. In this regard, the Administration’s promise that Americans who like their current coverage will be able to keep it under health care reform would be a hollow pledge.”

The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to issue its list of required preventive services by August 2011.


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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Sep. 23, 2010 11:06 PM ET USA

    Our Church needs to minister to our flock and the people directly. Enlisting the aid of the government always ends badly. The government gets more power, expends more money, causing costs to go up, and eventualy puts more people into poverty and / or dependency.

  • Posted by: Ken - Sep. 22, 2010 12:48 AM ET USA

    It's a little late for the USCCB to start protesting coverage of abortions under Obamacare. With Obama's background, everyone knew his final plan would cover this, yet the USCCB supported his efforts up until the very end when it finally became obvious his plan would cover this procedure. USCCB - you reap what you sow.