Catholic Church Vows to Fight Contraception Coverage

The Catholic Church is vowing to fight back against President Barack Obama and the new health care law because they are convinced that a mandate requiring insurance plans to cover birth control infringes on their religious freedom.

Parishes across the country are piping up about one particular component of the new federal health care law after the Obama administration ruled that some religious institutions are not exempt and all insurance plans must provide birth control coverage without co-payments as part of their health care plans.

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That means Catholic charities, hospitals and universities -- as well as other church-related institutions -- would need to include contraceptive coverage for employees, but church leaders argue that flies in the face of their beliefs.

"For the first time in history, the federal government is requiring people to buy a product that violates their conscience or religious freedoms," said Jason Adkins, of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Yet, some birth control medications do have use beyond contraception. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius highlighted that in her defense of the birth control coverage requirement.

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"Scientists have abundant evidence that birth control has significant health benefits for women and their families," she said. "The decision was made after very careful consideration -- including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty."

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