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Religious Groups Object To Covering Birth Control

Catholic hospitals say they're dismayed that President Barack Obama's health care law may force them to cover birth control free of charge to their employees.

The Catholic Health Association provided critical support last year for passage of the law, defying the bishops to do so. A provision in the law expands preventive benefits for women, and the administration is requiring that birth control with no copays be included.

But Sister Carol Keehan says a proposed conscience exemption is so narrowly written it applies only to houses of worship. Keehan is president of the umbrella group representing more than 600 hospitals.

It's not just Catholic hospitals. Educational and charitable organizations of any faith may not qualify for the exemption.

Obama administration officials say they are open to considering alternatives.


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