GOP Joins Fight against Birth Control Mandate

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The backlash against the Obama administration's policy requiring church-affiliated organizations to provide employees with free birth control is escalating, with GOP lawmakers vowing a repeal.

House Speaker John Boehner, who is Catholic, said the rule is an attack on religious freedom and "cannot stand and will not stand."

"In imposing this requirement, the federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries, encroaching on religious freedom," he said.

Boehner added that if the president doesn't reverse the new birth control policy, Congress will overturn it.

He's requesting that the House Energy and Commerce Committee draft legislation to block the new rule.

Catholics say the rule, which mandates covering all birth control pills, the morning after pill, and sterilization, violates their religious freedom.

But White House officials insist the administration is committed to women's reproductive freedoms.

"We want to work with all these organizations to implement this policy in a way that is as sensitive to their concerns as possible," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"But let's be clear," he added. "We are committed, the president is committed, to ensuring that women have access to contraception without paying any extra costs no matter where they work."

Some Democrats are lashing out at what they view as Republican's political posturing.

"Women in this country are tired of being treated like a political football by Republicans in Congress, who have tried continually and are continuing to try to take away their benefits," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said.

Meanwhile, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl said the Church won't pay for insurance that treats pregnancy as a disease.

Non-Catholics like Southern Baptists are also joining the outcry.

Southern Baptist leader, Rev. Richard Land, said the nation's largest Protestant group stands "100 percent" with Roman Catholic bishops in opposing the mandate.

Religious groups have 18 months to adopt the new mandate.

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.