We saw this one coming. Instead of just removing the HHS contraceptive mandate from religious institutions, the Obama administration is still trying to tweak it in the face of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
I personally don’t see much of a difference between the old accommodation and the new one. It still is having contraceptives and abortifacients provided to people though the coverage provided by a religious institution.
Arbishop Kurtz, president of the USCCB released this statement:
“The Administration is once again revising its regulations on the HHS mandate. We will study the regulations carefully and will provide more detailed comments at a later date. In keeping with our practice, we will evaluate the regulations according to the principles set forth in ‘United for Religious Freedom,’ a March 2012 statement of the USCCB Administrative Committee that was later affirmed unanimously by the body of bishops at the General Assembly of June 2012.
“On initial review of the government’s summary of the regulations, we note with disappointment that the regulations would not broaden the “religious employer” exemption to encompass all employers with sincerely held religious objections to the mandate. Instead, the regulations would only modify the “accommodation,” under which the mandate still applies and still requires provision of the objectionable coverage. Also, by proposing to extend the “accommodation” to the closely held for-profit employers that were wholly exempted by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the proposed regulations would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom.”
Obama will not give up on this easily. Even after a Supreme Court embarrassment, he’s going to keep pushing this. This IS his legacy. Free contraceptives.
Well that, and a terrible economy and a world on fire. But yay, free contraceptives!