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Catholic Church Opposes DC Contraceptives Coverage

The Catholic Church in Washington, DC is protesting a proposed bill that would require health care insurers to cover prescribed contraceptives. The bill would allow women rather than their insurers to determine what health services they can use and it also would provide for mandated coverage of most contraceptives. A request from the auxiliary bishop of Washington urged area Roman Catholics to contact their council members to express opposition to the bill and the absence of a “conscience clause” that would exempt religious organizations from covering the cost of contraceptives. Polls actually show that the overwhelming majority of Catholics not only disagree with the Church’s position and in fact use contraceptives but Catholic women also have abortions at a higher rate than Protestant women. Council member Sharon Ambrose said, “The intention of the bill is to provide maximum access to health care to District residents-that’s all District residents. We wanted to make sure women didn’t have to hassle to get coverage for contraception.” The DC council will vote on the bill tomorrow.

Sources:

Washington Post - 10 July 2000 and Feminist Majority Foundation