Bishops: Birth Control Policy Interferes with the Church

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Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious groups were on Capitol Hill Thursday to stand against the Obama administration's new policy on birth control coverage.

Religious leaders are concerned about the reach of government into the Church.

"The principal is the government reaching in and forcing us to do something," Connecticut Bishop William Lori said. "We might disagree within the Church. We might have our disagreements inside the Church. But it's not the government's job to weigh in and be the arbiter of those things."

The mandate now requires that insurance companies give women access to free birth control no matter where they work.

Initially, the rule would have required religious employers to pay for contraception coverage in their insurance premiums.

Despite the change, many Catholic groups are still unhappy because it only shifted financial responsibility to insurance companies.

Meanwhile, members of Congress who oppose the mandate are taking legislative action.

The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act exempts any employer who has religious or moral objections to the rule, not just religious institutions.

The measure is currently supported by 38 senators and 186 House members.

At a press conference Wednesday, Rep. Peter Roskam, warned that the mandate will "reach in and manipulate the conscience of Americans."  Roskam accused President Obama of "trampling precious First Amendment rights."

The White House said exempting groups from having to provide the coverage is '"dangerous and wrong."

During an interview, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, the country's top Catholic bishop, pledged to fight the rule with legislative and court challenges

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