The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: (202) 466-3234,Joe Conn,Rob Boston,Sandhya Bathija

Americans United Issues Statement On Obama Contraceptive Rule

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Policy Appears To Protect Employees’ Access To Birth Control At Religiously Affiliated Institutions


The Obama administration's proposed rule on access to birth control for employees at religious institutions appears to preserve women's access to contraception while bending over backward to address religious objections to the prior rules, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"Birth control is a fact of modern life," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "This proposed rule acknowledges that reality while going out of its way to accommodate religious groups. This should more than satisfy religiously affiliated institutions that have objected to the birth control mandate."

"The rule strikes a balance between guaranteeing access for birth control consistent with a woman's conscience and the objection of some religious providers," Lynn continued. "It aims to ensure that Americans can get access to the birth control they need and want yet shields religiously affiliated institutions from paying for it directly or indirectly."

The proposed rule, issued today, is intended to cover employees at religiously affiliated institutions such as church colleges, hospitals and charities.

Lynn said the proposed accommodation goes beyond what the Constitution requires and Americans United looks forward to commenting on the proposed regulations in more detail in the coming weeks.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.