PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Supports Obama Administration's New Compromise Regulation on HHS Contraception Rule

Posted February 10, 2012

Calls on Catholic Bishops, women's health advocates to recognize solution values religious liberty of Catholic institutions while maintaining access to health care for all employees

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Obama Administration announced that the President would be issuing a new regulation fully respecting the religious liberty of Catholic organizations while maintaining access to contraceptive services for all employees.

The new regulation will ensure that Catholic hospitals, universities and social service providers that are religiously opposed to contraception and sterilization do not have to provide or even refer for those services, while also requiring insurance companies provide contraceptive services free of charge to any enrollee who wishes to have the coverage. The objecting religious organizations would have no role in providing coverage or referring employees for services they would deem objectionable. The cost of the contraceptive coverage will be born by the insurance companies and will be offset by the long term cost savings associated with reduced need for maternity care. Using the standard of Catholic moral theology, this solution is acceptable because no Catholic or Catholic institution will be directly involved in what the church deems to be an immoral act.

“Catholics United has been calling on both sides of this heated debate to work towards today's win-win solution,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United. “President Obama has shown us that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic institutions."

Today's announcement will also be a test for the Catholic bishops, who have indicated that they are opposed to compromise.

“I am eager to see the response of the Catholic bishops, and I hope and pray in their wisdom they see the value of finding a solution,” Salt said. “If the bishops are unwilling to recognize the value of compromise, I suspect their opposition is more about playing politics than serving the needs of the people.”

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