US, religious groups debate birth control coverage

(AP)—The Obama administration on Friday urged a Supreme Court justice to stop blocking the new health care law's requirement that some religious-affiliated groups provide health insurance that includes birth control.

A group of Catholic nuns had challenged the requirement, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the block on New Year's Eve, only hours before the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, went into effect.

The Justice Department wants Sotomayor to dissolve her decision.

It's the latest issue challenging President Barack Obama's signature legislation, which is aimed at giving millions of Americans health coverage. The law has been bitterly contested by many opposition Republicans.

Some religious organizations, especially Catholic ones, have objected to the requirement that most health insurance plans have to cover all approved contraceptives as preventive care for women, free of cost to the patient.

Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the birth control requirement, but affiliated institutions that serve the general public are not. That includes charitable organizations, universities and hospitals.

In response to the objections, the government came up with a compromise that requires insurers to provide birth control coverage but allows the religious group to distance itself from that coverage.

A group of nuns in Denver who run nursing homes for the poor say signing the form that triggers the compromise makes them complicit in providing contraceptive coverage, and therefore violates their religious beliefs.

"Unfortunately, the federal government has started the new year the same way that it ended the old one: trying to bully nuns into violating their religious beliefs," said their lawyer, Mark Rienzi.

But Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in court papers that nothing in the law will make those nuns pay for birth control for their employees.

It is not known when Sotomayor will make a decision.

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Supreme Court exempts nun group from Obamacare birth control clause (Update)

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Jan 03, 2014
What is the difference between paying taxes for another persons birth control pills and the Amish whose taxes are use to fight a war?

Jan 03, 2014
The Bible & Torah should be banned!

Here are several really loving excerpts from the Torah; the first five books of the Old Testament in the bible -- perhaps read to the congregation on Friday night at a synagogue or a Sunday morning church in the meadow.

1. Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10
2. Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16
3. Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7.

Rabbinical / Priestly rules:
Leviticus 21:17-18 … "No one who is blind or lame or has a defect or any blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God."
Leviticus 18:22 … "You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination …."

Rabbis; the pope and churches fully aware that Leviticus 18:22 applies to rabbis and priests … refuse to remove this stigma maliciously persecuting gays. Kids are being bullied into suicide …!

Being left-handed – being black or being gay is just as natural. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it is love between two guys or two girls … all the better … it takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people; such a wicked fantasy.

Jan 03, 2014
I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Onward christian soldiers; I think not. It's such absolute drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross?

It's now time to shut down the synagogues and churches with the torah & bibles with Leviticus 18:22 and Deuteronomy 13:12-16. To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and peoples' lives -- is shameful.

Many theologians state quite correctly that the resurrection of Christ and other elements of christianity actually didn't even happen! Churches are committing hate crimes and more succinctly a violent criminal offence against a federally protected minority namely the gay community. It is actually a bigger moment in history … gays standing up for equality ... the realization that there is something far more evil at work -- hateful religion which should be discharged from society – period.

Jan 03, 2014
Separation of church and state was enshrined in the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
What the religious radicals don't tell people, and what, tragically, many Americans apparently don't know, is that when it comes to determining what the laws of the United States mean, the only document that matters is the Constitution. The Constitution, a completely secular document, contains no references to God, Jesus or Christianity.

Jan 03, 2014
The Republican Party; has self-destructed -- on the grounds of homophobia & religious corruption! Republican party; religious extremists -- are willing to destroy the United States of America and its people -- at any cost and push the whole country over the cliff in the name of bogus hocus pocus religion!

The proud gay community played a pivotal role in the re-election of President Obama exposing the hate based cultism of the religious extremists in the Republican Party who should face taxation and or/closure!
Enough with the religious corruption from the lunatic fringe; who have gotten away with kids committing suicide -- driven by ignorant family members manipulated by the insane clergy. Religion has no place in today's society of thinkers and intellectuals … who can see though the lies! President Obama should be praised for standing up for human rights … by supporting the gay community! Religion; is the biggest bully on the block!

Jan 03, 2014
No extremists anti Christians on this board.... nope..

Hey MAC.... here is the truth...

Hope you like it.

Jan 03, 2014
yep, if you ban religion then there will be no more crimes. atheists do not commit crimes because it is illogical. i can see it already; people of religious color or preference do not have the capacity to make an informed decision so they should not have religious freedom.

i am an atheist and right now my team astounds me. soldiers have died to protect this freedom because it has meaning. take faith away from the people and you are left with a socialist society left only to do your pointless job. any more than that would not be efficient.

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