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. LinCA

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    June 30, 2013 at 2:00 am |
  2. Josh Olsen

    What does prayer have to do with hoarding cats?

    June 30, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  3. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    Once again, religion gets a free pass.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Cuppa

      Maybe there should be more "free passes" so more people can opt out of more things regardless of religion.

      June 30, 2013 at 4:39 am |
  4. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    About eight states have religious exemptions from manslaughter or negligent homicide charges. In Idaho a coroner does not even do autopsies when children die in faith-healing sects, because the law requires autopsies only when a crime is suspected, and the law allows parents to withhold lifesaving medical care on religious grounds.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Cuppa

      I'm not a legal expert but I think you'd have to mandate health care for minors, or allow it to be optional for everyone. In this case maybe the first is best.

      June 30, 2013 at 4:40 am |
  5. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    Almost all states, except Mississippi and West Virginia, grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Cuppa

      Shouldn't immunizations be optional for everybody, religious or otherwise?

      June 30, 2013 at 4:35 am |
  6. Apple Bush

    Each of the orbs nestled quietly around the circle. It was Stuphania that first heard it. Thud. Very faint and comical. Thud. Soon all of the seeds in the circle began to hammer out the same Jazz classic by Dave Brubeck, “Take Five”. Another Gin for me please. And this is the summary of the article of the paper.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    More for me.

    June 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  8. Bootyfunk

    yay! faith groups can opt out of modern medicine and women's health care! what a great day for logic, reasoning and compassion. i hope the christian science peeps can opt out of all medical care for their employees. that would be a great victory for cognitive thinking.

    June 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Big brother

      Let me run your life...let me run your life...let me run your life.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Hey Bootyfunk

      Just take a look at all the religious exemption laws on the books.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm |

    Have a pill, sure way to have hinduism, cancer, way of hindu secular s, crook self centered to kill a woman, by calling it love.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • My Picture Of Muhammad


      June 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      You just insulted bu'tts and pe'nises.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  10. Reality

    Condoms are available over the counter. Make the Pill (type dependent on doctor’s evaluation) available over the counter and there will be no more debate. Planned Parenthood can offer deep discounts for those who say they cannot afford said protection.

    Or better yet, put a pack of condoms and a box of Pills in cereal boxes. Unfortunately, that would not ensure the condoms and/or Pills would be used. Based on Guttmacher Insti-tute data, said condoms and/or Pills are currently not being used as they should. (one million abortions/yr and 19 million cases of S-TDs/yr because either the daily Pill was not taken or a condom stayed in the pocket.)

    Maybe selling Pill-enriched sodas??? Hmmm?

    Condom-fitted briefs for men?? Hmmm?

    The door is open for other ideas!!!

    (Note: Bill Gates is sponsoring a contest worth up to one million dollars for someone who can develop a new, easy to use condom.)

    June 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

      hindu criminal planned parenthood uses tax payers money, way of hindus, crooks to use tax payers money to commit hinduism, murder.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Teach s3x ed in school. People say knowledge is power. But when it comes to s3x, ignorance is bliss. Don't just teach the act of s3x. Teach also the costs of having children. When people see what comes out of their pocket, I truly believe they'll think twice.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  11. Reality

    Way beyond religion and on to the nitty-gritty:

    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 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  12. Will

    Want contraceptives covered? what next ?? want you b o o b implants covered?

    June 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Iceage

      Will be nice if you cover sanitary napkins.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Trinka

      You do know that contraceptives are prescribed for other conditions, right! And what are you bitching about, Will? Your erectile dysfunction pills are still covered, aren't they?

      June 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Will

      ugh! by that argument why can't women who've had mastectomy be treated to a nice pair of replacements

      June 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @will...........................Which is cheaper Kids or contraceptives? I'd pay for contraceptives 10 out 10 times. According to a CNN\money website report, It costs $250,000 to raise a child from birth to 18. If the parents can't pay it, guess who does? Your dumb azz and other taxpayers.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Iceage

      Would you also cover tampons and Brazilian b u t t lifts?

      June 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Will

      Who is asking you not to pay for your own contraceptives.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      C'mon people lets grow up. Sanitary napkins, tampons, boob jobs are just cheap shots at women. What about Viagra, Cialis, hair plugs for men. Heath ins. covers a man's erectile issues, why can't a women protect themselves from pregnancy?

      June 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Becuase it was Eve who was seduced by Satan and diverted Adam from obedience to God. Woman is the instrument of death leading to all perdition and the excruciating pain of childbirth is God's punishment for that transgression.
      Letting a woman take birth control and avoid God's punishment is like giving a serial killer a get out of jail free card!

      June 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Trinka

      Breast reconstruction is mostly covered, idiot. Come back to the discussion when you decide to grow up, Will.
      As I stated before, the pill is prescribed for a variety of health reasons; PCOS is one of them. It is obvious you know nothing about women's health issues, and want to just make juvenile jokes about women.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Doc................Are you serious? So when my wife went through the pain of child birth, It was gods way of punishing her? I though children was a gift from god? Your statements just shows how off the wall religious wackos like you are.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Will

      Pay for your own contraceptive you tool.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Doc and Ken illustrate how straw man fallacies about religion are mistaken for evangelization to the detriment of the Gospel and the heathen both

      June 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Brain dead will..................You give guys a bad name. Contraceptives are NOT just for birth control. Birth control is an heath issue. It will cut down on unwanted children (That you wont have to pay for). It will cut down on abortions. Keep in mind it's part of insurance. The women that use contraceptives do pay for it.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Please don't lump me in with doc.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Douglas

      Coming from Bill "Strawman" Deacon himself, that's a hooter.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'll bite Doug, describe the last straw man you saw me build.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Trinka

      Pay for your own limp dick medicine, you ass.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      All I'm doing is relaying the Biblical explanation for the pain of childbirth as outlined in Genesis 3:16.

      "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

      So children may be a gift from God, but pregnancy and childbirth are punishments for takin the talking snakes advice about eating fruit.
      The concept is about at biologically legit as the idea than females are rib clones.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Bill Deacon

      I can't describe the last strawman you've built, but that doesn't mean that you haven't built hundreds on this site. Perhaps you're so unaware of your strawman building because you do it naturally and don't realize when you're doing it? Just a thought.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Perhaps you're just used to making blanket accusations towards people you disagree with and can't back them up.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, that's not it, Bill. When a person continually posts boring, stupid sh!t, I tend not to keep track of it because I don't care about it. Whatever your last strawman was, it was also boring and stupid and it was probably within the last hour and a half.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Douglas

      Yes, you bite, Bill.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Will

      While paying for your contraceptives, fantasize about dicks you moron.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Strawman

      Hitler was a Catholic, not a Christian. Come to think of it most Popes were Catholic, not Christians.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Terry

      Catholicism is just one of the many Christian cults.

      June 28, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Trinka

      Thanks for telling us what you fantasize about, Will. Do you fantasize about them being as limp as yours? It does explain why you don't know jack shit about women, though. You don't know any.

      June 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    I guess businesses owned by Scientologists don't have to cover psychiatric treatment, Jehovah's Witnesses won't cover blood transfusions or organ transplants, and Christian Scientists won't have to provide any health coverage at all.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |

    hindu evil ism, criminal self center ism of hindu atheist s in following of , criminal self centered in following of their hindu criminal god hindu Lucifer, denier of truth absolute GOD, foundation of American const itution at works, hindu Lucifer, criminal secular of all never appears in physical form, but in form of his children,

    June 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Thought Purification

      don't you think so your mother Hirabai made a huge mistake by not taking the morning after pill?

      June 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Athy

      It's idiots like ISLAM that make we wish for retroactive birth control.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  15. STFU

    spineless jellyfish politician; never trust them, especially second termers.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      This isn't an Obama problem. It's the phony crooked Christians that don't give a da'mn about the kids.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  16. Saraswati

    So they don't have to pay for something that saves money. What this should mean is that these religious groups pay more...but of course it won't.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  17. sam

    But what will they find to cry about now?

    June 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  18. Russell

    Isn't it obvious that an employer should not get between an employee and their doctor?

    June 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • abby normal

      Isn't it equally obvious that this is about who has to pay for what...and not really about what medical services one may obtain on their own dime?

      June 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      Hey abby, guess what – you've likely never had cancer but you get to pay for people who do. Why don't you cut to the chase and start spouting your right wing rhetoric now instead of holding back?

      June 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Russell


      No, it isn't about saving money. It is about religious groups trying to force their opinions onto others.
      In some cases, contraceptives are prescribed for reasons other than preventig pregnancy. This is about a woman being allowed to keep her health care between her and her doctor.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @abby..................Pull your head out your azz. People should encouraging people to use birth control. Children are not free. If the parents cant pay, guess who does? Your dumb azz and other taxpayers.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  19. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Why not just throw the whole fracking thing away if they’re just going to bow to all of these whiney little religious nuts? Just scrap the whole thing already.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • abby normal

      Works for me!

      June 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Trinka

      Well, abby, I'm kind of tired of you using the ER as your personal physician every time you or one of your brats have a sniffle. Get a clue, idiot.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  20. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $600,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easy to be fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $113,700 level. Now I only pay 1.2% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    June 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      I worked for years at one of the largest HC insurance providers as a contractor. So, even though I worked for them, I had to buy my own insurance policy (still do) at outrageous cost because I am not part of a group. Everyday, I went to work and helped this company screw the "little guy" – I implemented systems to "reprice" your claim, based on information provided by another shadier part of the same company. They eventually got caught at this, but it didn't slow them down one bit. I am so glad to be out of that industry. I felt so "dirty" working for them – designing ways to screw their "customers". Now that I have more experience in my field, I have the luxury of being pickier about my contracts, but I am still paying through the nose for my insurance, and my wife's policy is even worse since she had pre-existing conditions before we were married, and I could not get her on my policy. Luckily, the state that I live in does have a "public option" for those people that were denied coverage EVERYWHERE else – or I would be living under a bridge and/or my wife would be dead because of lack of insurance.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I've worked in and with this industry as well, and it's really sad how employees have to twist themselves in knots not to fel sick about what they do.

      The nastiest lie in recent times is about developing "Wellness" programs in the new era. If you don't already know, these are programs that give you money to go to the gym and that sort of thing. The reality is that these programs are designed to make the insurance companies more attractive to healthy people so they can have a profitable buffer, and to have programs that are less attractive to unhealthy people. It doesn't matter if the programs for healthy people actually do any net good. Every insurance company's goal with the new policies is to attract as many healthy people as possible while discouraging the unhealthy ones from signing up.

      June 30, 2013 at 5:29 am |
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