New Obama Birth Control Fixes for Religious Groups

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration has taken another step to resolve a dispute with religious-oriented businesses and institutions over birth control.

Officials on Friday announced measures aimed at allowing religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.

Even so, the accommodations may not fully satisfy religious groups who oppose any system that makes them complicit in providing coverage they believe is immoral.

Effective immediately, the U.S. will start allowing faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals to notify the government -- rather than their insurers -- that they object to birth control on religious grounds.

A previous accommodation offered by the administration allowed those nonprofits to avoid paying for birth control by sending their insurers a document called Form 700, which transfers responsibility for paying for birth control from the employer to the insurer. But Roman Catholic bishops and other religious plaintiffs argued that simply submitting that form was like signing a permission slip to engage in evil.

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