Contraception Insurance Mandate: The Religious Exemption Debate

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Health Care in the United States is undergoing a controversial transition at the hand of Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One goal of the PPACA is to make preventative care more accessible and affordable to millions of Americans (National Women’s Law Center, 2011). “Among the many firsts: employers that offer health insurance must cover certain preventative measures for women, including contraception” (Corbin 2013, p. 1470). This requirement has been coined the “contraception mandate” and has generated an uproar among many Catholic employers in the US (Corbin 2013, p. 1470); they believe it is in violation of their basic rights of religious freedom and freedom of speech to be forced to provide contraceptive services to …show more content…

If they are granted an accommodation, the employer itself will not have to purchase coverage for contraceptives, but employees and their dependents will still be able to access coverage without cost-sharing through insurance companies and third-party administrators of self-funded health plans (Sobel & Salganicoff 2013, p. 3). This compromise is still not satisfactory to many who feel that their religious liberty has been infringed upon; for people in this position, the only ideal solution is to completely revoke the mandate of these services. Many organizations have lashed out at the mandate: “over forty law suits have been filed by for-profit secular corporations challenging the contraceptive coverage requirement. In addition over forty religiously affiliated nonprofit corporations are also challenging the contraceptive coverage requirement, claiming that the accommodation for religiously affiliated nonprofits is insufficient and still burdens their religious rights” (Sobel & Salganicoff 2013, p. 1). According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, even if organizations aren’t required to pay for contraceptives directly, “forcing their religiously affiliated institutions to facilitate access to contraception- the use of which clashes with fundamental tenets of the Catholic faith- violates their religious conscience” (Corbin 2013, p. 1471). These groups do not want to

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