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Indiana Catholics Unsatisfied With Contraceptives Mandate

Speaking on WFIU's Noon Edition one Catholic priest says the Indiana Archdiocese is not satisfied with the changes Obama made to the contraceptives mandate.

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Photo: Kymberly Janisch (Flickr)

The contraceptives mandate has been particularly controversial in South Bend, Ind., the home of the University of Notre Dame.

Many religious organizations that object to contraceptive use are responding to a section of the new federal health care act that states employers must provide health care coverage for contraceptives. A statement released by the Obama administration Friday morning updated the policy to say health insurance companies rather than employers will be responsible for paying the costs of coverage.

Catholic dioceses, universities, and hospitals around Indiana, are voicing their opposition to the policy. Speaking on WFIU’s Noon Edition Father Ryan McCarthy of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said regardless of the form the policy takes, many people will still oppose it.

“We see this not as a health issue but actually as a religious freedom issue,” he says. “The church doesn’t desire to participate in that financially or in any other way. So anything that would compel us to participate in that, we would see that as trying to violate our freedom of religion.”

Planned Parenthood Communications, Development, and Education Vice President Chrystal Struber says she thinks the policy will make contraceptives accessible to people who previously could not afford them.

“We know right now people are struggling just to pay, make ends meet, get meals on the table, that kind of thing,” she says. “A lot of people can’t afford birth control through the programs that are out there. So this really makes it more accessible, and it’s a good thing.”

McCarthy says his archdiocese considers itself a part of the church and will seek an exemption from the policy.

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