FILE – In this May 15, 2012 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks in Bethesda, Md. The legal challenges over religious freedom and the birth control coverage requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul appear to be moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by faith-affiliated charities, hospitals and universities, against the mandate which requires employers to provide insurance that covers contraception for free. However, many for-profit business owners are also suing, claiming a violation of their religious beliefs. The religious lawsuits have largely stalled, as the Department of Health and Human Services tries to develop an accommodation for faith groups. However, no such offer will be made to individual business owners. And their lawsuits are yielding conflicting rulings in appeals courts around the country. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a wave of lawsuits over what government can tell religious groups to do, the Obama administration is proposing a compromise for faith-based nonprofits that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans.
Some of the lawsuits appear headed for the Supreme Court, threatening another divisive legal battle over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, which requires most employers to cover birth control free of charge to female workers as a preventive service. The law exempted churches and other houses of worship, but religious charities, universities, hospitals and even some for-profit businesses have objected.
The government’s new offer, in a proposed regulation, has Login to read more