U.S. rule highlights Catholic tensions over contraception

By Reuters Staff
August 6, 2012

(A statue of John Carroll, first Archbishop of Baltimore and founder of Georgetown University, overlooks a group of women seated on a bench on the Georgetown campus in Washington June 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

New rules requiring free access to prescription birth control for women with health insurance have gone into effect but controversy lingers at some Catholic institutions struggling to balance the requirement with their opposition to contraception.

At Georgetown University, the nation’s oldest Catholic university, students and administration officials are still wrestling with the requirement to cover contraceptives as part of larger effort to expand no-cost preventive care for women.

The requirement exempts churches and gives religious groups a one-year reprieve. Georgetown leaders, now preparing for returning students, have said they will not allow student health plans to include birth control this year.

Other religious groups are pushing back further by filing lawsuits or dropping health insurance coverage altogether.

President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul also calls for more no-cost screenings, check-ups and other services starting in 2014. The services are aimed at holding down spiralling health care costs by catching illnesses early, curbing complications or preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Catholic Church officials, Republicans and other conservatives have blasted the inclusion of artificial birth control, which is against church doctrine. Opponents said the rule, as it stands, does not go far enough to allow an opt-out for religious-affiliated groups such as charities or schools.

Obama, a Democrat, has softened the rule to allow more time for a compromise with religious groups over how to implement it without trampling their beliefs, but also without denying contraception to those with different views.

Read the full story by Susan Heavey here.
.
Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

As if married Catholics don’t use birth control. This is only an issue for the church’s dogma it isn’t an issue in reality.

Posted by PhillyJimi | Report as abusive