Tags: Contraception | mandate | effect | quiet

Contraception Mandate Goes Into Effect With Little Fanfare

By    |   Wednesday, 01 August 2012 01:31 PM

The hotly contested contraception mandate included in President Barack Obama’s healthcare law went into effect on Wednesday with little fanfare.

Both supporters and opponents of the measure seemed willing to let the landmark date pass as they prepare for future court battles.

Republicans and Roman Catholic leaders who had led the fight said little as the mandate, which insists that most employer-based insurance systems provide contraceptive services, started operation.

Freshman Republican Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania held a press conference, but Congressional GOP leaders were noticeably reticent to say anything to bring attention to the measure’s introduction.

Even House Speaker John Boehner — who thundered, “It must not stand and it will not stand,” while discussing the measure in the House, planned on staying silent on the issue on Wednesday.

What criticism there was was muted. "The implementation of this policy marks the beginning of the end of religious freedom in our nation," said Christen Varley, executive director of Conscience Cause, in a statement.

But despite Wednesday’s near-silence, moves to undo the mandate are still going ahead, but they are unlikely to be heard in the courts for several months. Catholic organizations have filed lawsuits in 43 different courts opposing the law.

“What the bishops have said or done still stands, Don Clemmer, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told CBS News.

The implementation of the mandate comes less than a week after a federal judge in Colorado gave a victory to opponents of the law. U.S. District Judge John Kane temporarily blocked the government from enforcing the requirement on Denver-based Hercules Industry, a private manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, which is run by a Catholic family.

Paul Newland, one of four siblings who own Hercules, told Denver’s CBS affiliate, the company felt it had to fight. "We have to choose between one of two evils," he said. "We can either abandon our faith, which is important to us, or we can pay heavy fines which would cripple our business.

"Religion is the fabric of us as owners and many of the people that work for us," he added.

Wednesday also saw the implementation of other parts of Obamacare, including breastfeeding support, wellness preventative care, domestic violence screenings and HIV screenings.

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Wednesday, 01 August 2012 01:31 PM
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