White House: Faith groups can opt out of contraception mandate
June 28th, 2013
02:08 PM ET

White House: Faith groups can opt out of contraception mandate

By Dan Merica and Kevin Bohn, CNN

(CNN) - The Obama administration finalized rules on Friday that allow religiously affiliated organizations to opt out of a federal mandate requiring that they provide employees with insurance coverage for birth control.

The mandates give women at nonprofit, religious-based organizations, like certain hospitals and universities, the ability to receive contraception through separate health policies at no charge.

The rules, which were first proposed in February and then open for comment through April, have undergone only minor changes.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, deputy director for policy and regulations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the rules were "very similar" to the administration's original proposal.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Health care • Sex

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. faith

    When I was young and they packed me off to school
    And they taught me how not to play the game
    Oh, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success
    Or if they said that I was just a fool

    So I left there in the morning With their God under my arm
    Their half asd smiles and the book of rules

    Then I asked this God a question
    And by way of firm reply
    He said, "I'm not the kind you have to wind-up on Sundays"

    And to my old headmaster and to anyone who cares
    Before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers
    Oh, I don't believe you, you had the whole damn thing all wrong
    And he's not the kind you have to wind-up on Sunday

    Well, you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
    And have all the Bishops harmonize these lines

    How do you dare tell me that I'm my father's son
    When that was just an accident of birth?
    Oh, I'd rather look around me, compose a better song
    'Cos that's the honest measure of my worth

    And in your pomp and all your glory,
    you're a poorer man than me
    As you lick the boots of death born out of fear

    When I was young and they packed me off to school
    And they taught me how not to play the game Oh, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success
    Or if they said that I was just a fool

    And so I left there in the morning
    With their God under my arm
    The half asd smiles and the book of rules

    And you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
    And have all the Bishops harmonize these lines

    When I was young and they packed me off to school
    And they taught me how not to play the game
    Oh, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success
    Or if they said that I was just a fool

    And so to my old headmaster and to anyone who cares
    Before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers

    And you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
    And have all the Bishops harmonize these lines

    I don't believe you, you had the whole damn thing all wrong
    And he's not the kind you have to wind-up on a Sundays


    July 9, 2013 at 3:03 am |
  2. faith

    It's a shadowy world, skies are slippery gray
    A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet
    He'll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat
    Take the motherless children off the street
    And place them at the feet of a harlot

    July 9, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • faith

      that's why we love him so.

      he loves the unlovely, the unlovable, the friendless, the prisoner, the sick and scarred, the slave, the lonely discarded priest, even aqualung who hears the army up the road, salvation a la mode and a cup of tea

      July 9, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  3. Catholic4ever


    July 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      And what is Obama lying about o'phony christian?

      July 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • krhodes

      i think a better question would be~ when has he told the truth?

      July 12, 2013 at 2:54 am |
  4. sebastian

    If you think Diana`s story is amazing..., 1 week ago my daughter basically also got paid $4162 grafting at home and there neighbor's mom`s neighbour has been doing this for nine months and made over $4162 part time On their laptop. applie the steps on this address... http://www.jazz77.com

    July 7, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  5. Ann

    I wonder how much of this silly debate could be ended if there was not the requirement that contraceptives be covered absolutely free. That part has puzzled me. If it's just a prescription like any other prescription, then why should it be exempt from a copay? My birth control pills (which, by the way, I take for something other than pregnancy prevention) used to cost me about $10 for a 3-month supply, the same as any other generic medication. I was fine with that.

    I don't think it needs to be free, except for very low-income women – in which case it would be a lot cheaper to all of us if it prevented children they really couldn't afford.

    July 2, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      " federal mandate requiring that they provide employees with insurance coverage for birth control."

      You are misinformed Ann. The affordable health care act does not require FREE birth control for all, it simply requires businesses to include it in their health plans just like they already do for Viagra. There is some federal funding that goes to planned parenthood and they do provide free birth control for very low income women.

      The new allowance for religious groups to opt out just means they can keep offering their priests and males they employ the Viagra they so desperately need through their health plans, but those pesky women who want any of their birth control covered can go jump in a lake, preferably a cold one if they are wanting to simulate birth control...

      July 2, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Ann

      Hmm, I think you might be wrong. In the full article, they refer several times to women getting contraceptives "at no cost" – it doesn't sound like they mean "no cost for additional coverage."

      Besides, mine is free now - and I seriously doubt BC/BS did that just because they wanted to be nice.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @Ann................This silly debate would end if republicans grew up and the church leaders stop being phonies. EVERYBODY pays for children the parents can't afford. The govt. should be BEGGING people to take birth control. People do not want to help these people, so why do people want them to be born!

      July 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • My Dog is a Jealous Dog

      No – BC/BS did it because it saves them money. It is cheaper to give you contraceptives than to pay for a pregnancy. Why can't you get it through your heads that it is more expensive to take away your contraceptives.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @ann.........Another reason the prez. wants to make them easier for people to get is TO PREVENT ABORTIONS. That was the prez vow to the phony crooked christian conservatives and religious leaders. But because he's black they've got their panties in a bunch and now they complain about birth control.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Matthew 7:7
    ”Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

    Matthew 21:22
    And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

    Mark 11:24
    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

    John 14:13-14
    Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

    so ... if the bible is the truth, and if prayer works, then Christians shouldn't have any worries about these laws being changed to whatever they want.

    Surely (if the bible is the truth and if prayer works) with all the christians praying in America, this place should be heaven for the Christian Taliban. gays would all leave or die, abortion would stop. everyone else would miraculously convert to Christianity ... oh ... and let's not forget ... all amputees would miraculously grow their limbs back.

    what a crock!

    July 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • MrCrewel Dude

      Yes, it's a crock-pot of B.S.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  7. Irrational Exuberance

    White House: There is such a thing as a free lunch.

    Hiding how it gets paid for doesn't make it free.

    We have a logjam here:
    1) You have a right to believe as you will
    2) You have a right to exercise your religion so long as it does not harm another
    3) The government will not force you to subsidize another persons belief.

    So what happens when 3 conflicts with 2. My religion says I may eat pork, can we force my employer whose religion forbids pork to pay for my BBQ? How about we just force them to pay for my lunch, but the local cafeteria will have to give me my pulled pork sandwich for free.

    Being disingenuous about how thy are still paying for it does not advance the conversation.

    July 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      All the prez has to do is tell the insurance co. to offer birth control for a dollar. The individual can buy it with their pay and shut the companies up. This is a phony issue just like the IRS and Benghazi scandal.

      July 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Irrational Exuberance


      So long as the price is below the cost then honest discussion demands recognizing this is just another shifting of the cost.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      As long as the prez. is involved republicans and the catholic church will complain no matter what. None of these people care about the children. We have hungry and homeless children, no plan for them because no one cares.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  8. Reality

    And why are there ~ one million abortions every year in the USA?

    The failure rate of unprotected se-x in preventing a pregnancy? As per Guttmacher, 85%

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by: (the two most widely used forms of contraception)

    The Pill, at 0.3 percent) (32,000 unplanned pregnancies)

    Male condom at 2.0 percent (138,000 unplanned pregnancies)

    So where is the problem?


    Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy


    Pill……… 8.7 (resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies- the Pill was not taken daily was the major reason for the high failure rate)

    Male condom ……….17.4 (resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies- the condom was available but was not used is the major reason for the high failure rate)

    All the numbers are posted on line by Guttmacher if you want to run the calculations.

    So again we see the BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY!!!!

    July 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      The real reason of unexpected pregnancy is simple. Lack of education. We should also teach kids the economic cost of pregnancy no matter if you're a teen or not.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Reality

      Se-x education is here in schools, homes, books and on the internet. The problem is that many of all ages do not follow the simple directions on the Pill and/or condom package. And please note the following:

      On its Grand Challenges website, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering a $100,000 startup grant to the person who designs "the next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure" and promotes "regular use."

      It may sound like the setup for a joke, but the goal is deadly serious. While researchers call condoms one of the best ways to stop the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, getting people to use them is another story.”

      July 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @reality..................What the Gates are doing is great. Of course the republicans are probably against it. I think parenting is a issue here also. I've had honest conversations with my oldest daughter and my youngest will get the same as she gets older. You'd be surprised at how many parents DON'T talk about s3x with their kids.

      July 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      More importantly republicans need to get over their obsession with s3x. We're not farm animals. We don't have s3x to only have children.

      July 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    article should read:

    White House: Faith groups can opt out of modern education on women's health

    July 1, 2013 at 4:06 am |
    • Ken Margo

      The prez is doing the best he can. When you have immature morons in congress and phony crooked Christians running the church. What else can he do.

      July 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Perhaps a Federal program to provide basic reproductive health services should be brought into being. Something anyone can call on no matter what the opinions of people who might try to deny something so basic as contraception might be.

    June 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Their is a federal law stating the feds cannot provide funding any abortion services. Of course republicans consider birth control a form of abortion.

      July 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Dippy

      There, not their.

      July 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo


      July 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  11. R.M. Goodswell

    This so- called "Obama care" program has been whittled down diluted and twisted so badly I really doubt it ll be effective or all that usable by the people it was intended to help....and now we have exceptions...watch this list grow.

    I know socialism has a bad rap with most people, but medicine should be an across the board right in my view. With the insane clown economics going on in this country the costs are soaring. We are starting to look like a third world country on steroids.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Nclaw441

      If health care is a right, that means someone has to be forced to provide it. What if no one, or an insufficient number of people, want to be doctors? I believe everyone should have the right to buy health care, and that it ought not be withheld based on discrimination, but no one has the right to another person's labor. That is slavery.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • The real Tom

      How is anyone "enslaved" by being required to provide contraceptive coverage via an insurance company that covers all the employees of a company?


      June 30, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So doctors in Canada, the UK and all other countries with modern/universal health care systems are enslaved?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Wendy

      It's not as easy as it seems with Universal Care. People don't want to have to be financially responsible for one another's decisions. I always ask myself I've never had children so why am I paying for schools and bus systems? It may not be the kindest thing to say but it's the truth. When it all goes into one pot there is less personal control. Do you want to pay for my lung cancer treatments? It's not your fault that I smoke.

      July 4, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      No, on a personal basis I do not want to pay for totally preventable health issues such as smoking related issues. Taking the bigger picture into account though, I recognize that health coverage schemes work best when everyone, healthy and unhealthy, are covered, and it is also good to have a few early death idiots to balance out the costs of providing extended care to the elderly. The good news is that smoking, like religion, is on the decline in developed countries, so the burden of smoking related health issues and the insanity of delusional believers should decrease over time as well. All that being said, the question was "Are doctors in universal health car systems enslaved?" and clearly the answer is they are not.

      July 4, 2013 at 7:54 am |
  12. Reality

    The following should be provided with every condom package and every Pill prescription:

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms ( less that 50 cents each on-line with free shipping) properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (S-TDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."
    See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

    And from:
    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by:

    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    June 30, 2013 at 7:15 am |
  13. Saraswati

    If I own the biggest company in town and I become a Christian Scientist can I get out of offering any medical benefits at all to my employees?

    June 30, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • JMEF

      If you are a Catholic florist are you compelled to ask your wedding customers if they had ever been married before and divorced and then deny them your product?

      June 30, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • Saraswati

      @JMEF, According to the logic of these folks, yes. And depending on the moral sentiments of any business owner you may be required to fill out a survey before getting service describing your religious beliefs, use of birth control, detailed se.xual habits, marital status, racial history, interracial mixing, use of various forms of language, contact with untouchables, drining, smoking and eating habits, number of children and adherence to recycling practices. You might also be weighed to show you haven't demonstrated the sin of gluttony.

      June 30, 2013 at 6:09 am |
    • That's just the top of it

      How many insurance companies that are not even religious ask for those details, all of your habits, deny for pre-existing conditions. That type of stuff is already in place. Religious or otherwise it exists to save companies money.

      June 30, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • Ken Margo

      The public should be fed up with companies that can offer heath benefits but don't. The public should be educated as to the cost of uninsured and underpaid individuals to the public. Unfortunately Republicans lie to the people and Democrats don't have the balls to tell the people.

      July 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.