Catholic Network’s Suit Fuels Contraception Rule Fire


The battle over the Obama administration's new birth control insurance coverage mandate heated up Thursday when a Catholic television network sued to block the new rule. Previously, churches as well as religiously-affiliated institutions could opt out of the 2009 health care law's requirement that employers cover birth control in their insurance plans — but the new rule leaves only churches, and not religious instutitions, exempt. That has many conservative politicians and Catholic organizations crying foul, claiming the Department of Health and Human Services rule violates religious freedom. Eternal Word Television Network filed its federal lawsuit Thursday in Birmingham, Ala. "We had no other option," said its president. Meanwhile, conservatives in Congress — and even some Catholic Democrats who support reproductive rights, like Sen. John Kerry — are urging Obama to reconsider the controversial rule.

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