To get around the objections of companies that oppose paying for drugs that could induce abortions, the Obama administration created an “accommodation” for non-profit religious organizations (including hospitals and colleges).
According to the new rule, the employer does not have to contract, arrange, pay for, or refer such coverage if they object on religious grounds. The employer will notify the government about their religious objections, and the government will notify the insurance companies, who’ll have to pay for the drugs.
What if religious non-profits don’t want to be associated with abortion pills at all, regardless of who pays? From ChristianNews:
Arina Grossu, Director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, expressed opposition to the new rules on Friday, stating that they do nothing to rectify the objections outlined by faith-based entities.
“What remains an insulting accounting gimmick does not protect the rights of Americans with sincere conscientious objections,” she stated. “It is simply another clerical layer to an already existing accounting gimmick that does nothing to protect religious freedom because the employer still remains the legal gateway by which these drugs and services will be provided to their employees.”
For-profit businesses aren’t part of the accommodation, but with Hobby Lobby’s recent victory in the U.S. Supreme Court, they have some protection.
As I and others have stated, the controversy over who pays for birth control is unnecessary. Women can go to Walmart, Walgreens, or similar stores and buy condoms, spermicides, and other contraceptives. Or they can get a cheap prescription for birth control pills, a diaphragm, or whatever they prefer. What about abortion? As far as I know, it isn’t cheap, but now we’re talking about killing unborn babies. No one, whether they have religious objections or not, should be required to pay for such procedures. Killing babies isn’t health care and shouldn’t be part of coverage.
Did the president create this contraceptives controversy as a wedge issue for the elections?
In related news, religious employers and insurers in California will have to offer abortion coverage. The director of the California Department of Managed Health Care said killing unborn babies is “a basic health care service. All health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally.”