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WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced today that it will keep in place a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that determines which essential services are covered by new health insurance plans. The administration resisted heavy pressure from the United States Conference on Catholic Bishops and other groups to permit a broad range of religiously affiliated organizations to deny contraception coverage to their employees. The administration’s decision will ensure effective birth control will be more affordable for millions of women.
“Virtually all women from all religious backgrounds use contraception at some point in their lives to protect their health and plan their families and their lives,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. ”With today’s action, the administration refused to give religious employers the right to discriminate.”