Update on American HHS birth control mandate controversy: March, 2013

A judge of the St. Louis Federal District Court struck down parts of a Missouri law  ensuring freedom of conscience for those objecting to paying for contraceptive coverage and abortion drugs in their health plans. [St. Louis Review]  To date, 10 amicus curiae briefs have been filed by Americans United for Life in support of lawsuits against the U.S. federal government regulation that requires objecting business owners to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, embryocides, and surgical sterilization. [AUL news release]   The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities,has asked members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013.H.R. 940, which includes provisions to prevent objecting businesses or individuals from being forced to provide  health insurance coverage for contraceptives, embryocides, and surgical sterilization. [USCCB news release]  Attorneys General of 13 states (Ohio, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia) have written to the federal government asking that the proposed exemptions for objectors to the regulation be broadened to include private employers. [Columbus Dispatch].  More than 147,000 people and groups have made formal comments about the proposed regulation, 30 times more than the comments made on the next most-commented-upon rule. [The Hill]  Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by the Democratic Party, voted down a measure that would have stopped funding for enforcment of the regulation.



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