21 Aug 2014
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Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik: 'To Hell' With New Contraception Rules

The Obama administration is requiring church-affiliated employers to provide health care plans that cover access to contraception.

Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik: 'To Hell' With New Contraception Rules

Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik Friday joined a growing segment of religious leaders  speaking out against the Obama administration’s new law that requires religious employers to offer health plans covering free contraceptives.

In an open letter titled " To Hell With You," Zubik today characterized some of the mandates in the administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a "slap in the face" and an attack on religious freedom.

Zubik specifcally refers to guidelines that require all individual and  group health  insurance plans, including self-insured plans, to cover FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and pharmaceuticals "that even result in abortion,"  Zubik writes.

"The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “ To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it," Zubik wrote in the letter posted on the Pittsburgh Diocese  website.

The church opposes contraception and pharmaceuticals such as the "morning-after" pill. 

Under the law, Zubik believes many Catholic institutions would be affected, including local , nursing homes and hospitals.

Zubik writes:

Practically speaking under the proposed mandate there would be no “religious exemption” for Catholic hospitals universities, colleges, nursing homes and numerous Catholic social service agencies such as Catholic Charities. It could easily be determined that the “religious exemption” would not apply as well to Catholic high , elementary schools and Catholic parishes since many employ non-Catholics and serve both  students and, through social outreach, many who do not share Catholic religious beliefs. Such a narrow “religious exemption” is simply unprecedented in federal law.

Zubik's letter urges to contact their local political leaders and lists several names and numbers for the White House, Pennsylvania Congressmen and Senators. 

 

What do you think about the new mandates in the health plan? Tell us in the comments.


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