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Friday, January 20, 2012

Obama Says Americans Get Free Birth Control—Even if They're Religious

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

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Laaaadies! If you have health insurance, look forward to free birth control—even if you work for a religious university or hospital.

Today the Obama Administration announced that religious institutions (except churches, mosques, synagogues and other place of worship) have to follow the same laws at the rest of America's employers when it comes to covering birth control under the new healthcare bill. Under the law, employer health care plans have to cover contraception by August of this year. That's already a requirement in 28 states (pdf), but religious groups were hoping to get an exception in the federal law for religiously-affiliated employers, meaning hospitals and universities with a religious bent wouldn't have to cover the Pill for employees. But today, Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, nope, religious affiliated institutions will get an extra year to phase in the requirements, but they must follow the new law.

In 2010, I talked with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards about the importance of birth control coverage. Check out that interview here!

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