In the News 2012

Some contraception rule supporters worried about other lawsuits


The leader of a Catholic group that supports abortion rights said Monday he’s worried that Friday’s decision blocking enforcement of the contraceptive coverage rule for just one company could open the floodgates for more lawsuits.

“There is no guarantee that the other cases and other judges will not extend the ruling more broadly,” Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said of Friday’s decision by a U.S. district judge in Colorado granting a three-month injunction to a business owned by a Catholic family.

On a conference call with reporters, O’Brien said Catholics for Choice wasn’t planning to take any legal action as of now against those who are fighting or refusing to implement the contraception requirement, but he didn’t rule it out.

O’Brien’s remarks came during a conference call in which some religious leaders spoke up for the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage.
The Rev. Harry Knox, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said Monday on a call with reporters that “current frivolous lawsuits against women’s health care” are “out of step with public opinion.”

O’Brien accused the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has voiced opposition to the contraception requirement, of wanting to “take out of the Affordable Care Act coverage of contraception” entirely so “you’d have to go to your employer and ask permission to use contraception.”

Knox agreed “the bishops are not going to be satisfied to seeking as they claim to protect their own religious liberty” but want to impose their views on others.

Leaders from the United Church of Christ, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church also affirmed their support for the contraception requirement.

“Religious doctrine has no place in determining public health policy,” the Rev. Geoffrey Black, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, said. “It is long past the time when women should be fully trusted to make decisions regarding their health and well-being.”

This op-ed was originally published by Politico.

Catholics for Choice