Religious leaders push for ObamaCare contraception mandate exemptions



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ABSTRACTReligious leaders push for ObamaCare contraception mandate exemptions | Fox News Fox News Digital Network   Fox News   Fox Business   uReport   Fox News Radio   Fox News Latino   Fox Nation   Fox News Insider Login Account You're logged in as   Profile Logout Search Site Listen to Fox News Radio Live › On Air Now › On Air Personalities ›   Home Video Politics U.S. Opinion Entertainment Tech Science Health Travel Lifestyle World Sports On Air Previous Slide Next Slide Politics Home Executive Branch U.S. Senate House of Representatives State & Local Courts Pentagon 2012 Election Results Religious leaders push for ObamaCare contraception mandate exemptions Published July 03, 2013 FoxNews.com Feb. 10, 2012: President Obama, accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, speaks at the White House. AP Leaders of religious groups representing more than 100 million Americans said Tuesday that religious institutions and business owners should not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage that violates their conscience. In an open letter unveiled at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, the coalition of groups urges the Department of Health and Human Services to exempt "any organization or individual that has religious or moral objections" to the so-called contraception mandate in ObamaCare. The letter is signed by leaders of the Roman Catholic church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Assemblies of God and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, among others. The Obama administration issued its final compromise last week for religiously affiliated charities, hospitals and other nonprofits that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans as is required under the mandate. Under the compromise, administration officials said they simplified the definition of religious organizations that are fully exempt from the requirement. Other religious nonprofits must notify their insurance company that they object to birth control coverage. Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptists' public policy arm, said Tuesday that the administration's finalized rule on the mandate amounted to "word games and accounting tricks," with no exemptions for religious business owners. Moore called on HHS to "expand conscience protections under the mandate to cover any organization or individual with religious or moral objections to covering, providing, or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services." Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, according to prepared remarks, said the administration's compromise has divided the Catholic Church into camps of "accommodated" religious institutions, houses of worship and profit-making companies owned by Catholics. "Under the now-finalized rule, for-profit institutions still receive no relief or accommodation at all, except for the relief many of them have been able to attain so far in the courts by way of preliminary injunctions or temporary restraining orders against the mandate," Lori said. More than 60 lawsuits have been filed challenging the mandate. The cases are expected to reach the Supreme Court. Last week, a federal judge ruled that Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, Inc., would.......