Nation

Bishops slam birth control compromise

American bishops said Thursday the Obama administration’s latest compromise on birth control coverage and religious employers doesn’t go far enough to answer church concerns.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops said a bigger buffer is needed between religious charities and any third party arranging contraceptive coverage. Bishops also want a clearer statement that faith-affiliated hospitals and other nonprofits are religious ministries.

And church leaders continue pressing for an exemption for owners of for-profit business who say the requirement forces them to violate their religious beliefs. The government has given no indication that it is considering an opt-out for business owners.

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The bishops made their comments nearly a week after the Department of Health and Human Services announced another revision. The regulation is part of President Obama’s health care overhaul, known as the Affordable Care Act, and is meant to help space pregnancies and promote women’s health.

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The department had no reaction Thursday to the bishops’ criticism.

Associated Press