No Religious Exception for Birth Control

    Registered nurse Sharon Cassady holds the traditional pill, at a Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey clinic in Shrewsbury, N.J., Wednesday, March 17, 2004.  Several pending bills in the state Legislature would require insurers who provide prescription drug benefits to pay for contraceptives as they would for antibiotics or other medications. If a version is approved, New Jersey would join 21 other states in passing what supporters call "contraceptive equity" legislation. Similar bills also are pending in other states.  (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

    Daniel Hulshizer / AP Photo

    Let the conservative backlash begin. The Obama administration ruled on Friday that religiously affiliated organizations will have to offer female employees birth control coverage, rejecting the Roman Catholic Church’s exemption request for its hospitals, colleges and charities. The administration will, however, give some employers an extra year to comply with the law, which means coverage for their employees won’t begin until after the 2012 elections. All other insurers will have to comply by August 1. The federal legislation does not apply to churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and religious elementary and secondary schools. Despite this concession, some church groups have complained that the exemption is too narrow.

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