Catholic hospitals pull back support for contraception compromise

Sister Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association, was the most high-profile Catholic to speak in support of President Barack Obama‘s February announcement that the federal government would allow religious employers that object to the use of birth control to turn over responsibility for covering it for their workers to insurance companies.

In a formal submission to federal regulators, Sister Keehan wrote that the Catholic hospitals group had decided all of the options being discussed were “unduly cumbersome and would be unlikely to adequately meet the religious liberty concerns of all of our members and other Church ministries.”

The only solution would be for Catholic hospitals to be exempt from the requirement entirely, she wrote.”If the government insists that all employees have access to contraceptive coverage without cost sharing then it should provide and pay for these services directly,” the letter says.

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