The Obama administration held firm against pressure from religious groups like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and refused to change a rule that requires employers that offer workers health insurance to include access to contraception with no additional out-of-pocket costs.
The administration will grant religious organizations a one-year delay before they must comply with the rule.
The rule, first proposed by the administration last August, exempts from compliance those employers whose primary purpose is to inculcate religious values and that mainly employ and serve individuals who share those values. Religious groups had argued this exemption was too narrow and would exclude a number of religious universities, hospitals and schools that do not currently offer birth control coverage in health insurance plans for their employees.
Make no mistake about it, the pressure to expand the religious exemption here was extreme. But it was met with pressure from individuals and groups who believe that women should not be discriminated against in health insurance coverage just because of their gender.
So thank you to the Care2.com community for all your work in making sure the Obama administration understood that caving to religious pressure on birth control would not be tolerated. Thanks to your efforts women face one less hurdle in accessing critical health care services.
Photo from nateOne via flickr.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.