The Obama administration was slammed by yet another prominent Catholic clergyman Monday who urged Catholics and those of other religions to "speak up" and protest a federal policy forcing employers to provide free access to contraception and drugs that induce abortions as part of health plans.
"People need to speak up," Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, said on the Fox News
program "America’s Newsroom."
"There's one thing in the heart of this nation that we're counting on, and that's the basic fairness of the American people."
The mandate, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services calls for employers to provide such coverage under health plans, including those entities with religious ties. Catholicism bans any method of contraception, considering it a grave sin.Catholics bjected to the rule saying it was unconstitutional and was an attack on religious freedom.
Late Friday, the Obama administration sought to ease the firestorm caused by the mandate by saying insurers -- not employers -- would be required to provide coverage for women.
So far, the U.S. Conference of Bishops, among others, have blasted the 'compromise' saying it changes nothing.
"Today's proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions," the bishops said. "The lack of clear protection for key stakeholders – for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals – is unacceptable and must be corrected."
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