The Obama administration has proposed a work around for private employers who object to contraceptive coverage. Now, instead of telling their insurer that they object, they are supposed to tell the government.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a response that was somewhere between tepid and picky. In a statement, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said, “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.”Thus nothing is good enough.
As Charles Pierce writes,
After all, the opposition to birth control is not based on the opposition to a government mandate. It's based on the opposition to the medicine, and the purpose that medicine serves. The question being litigated -- in public and, sadly, in the courts -- is not constitutional. It's theological. The essential text is not the Constitution. It's Humanae Vitae.