Earlier today, President Obama announced a plan to tweak the birth control provisions in the new healthcare law. Currently, provisions in the law mandate that religiously affiliated employers cover birth control (including the morning-after pill and sterilization services) as preventive care for women. Churches and other houses of worship are exempt; any other type of religiously affiliated organization is not.
However, with this new announcement, that will change. Starting in 2013, non-profit religious organizations who object to providing birth control free of charge under insurance can opt out—instead, insurance companies will have to reach directly out to any woman who may still be interested in obtaining birth control, though the administration has not publicly outlined explicitly how that will work yet.
"Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive service, no matter where they work," President Obama told USA Today.
While the goal of the new changes is to protect both religious liberties and a woman's right to birth control, critics on all sides, including both Republicans and Democrats, insurance companies, and the Catholic church, are a little wary of the plan.
What do you think? Do you believe religious organizations should be allowed to opt out of providing insurance coverages for birth control?