As I recently discussed, there is an ongoing battle between the Obama administration and the Catholic Bishops over the federal government’s new rule that requires organizations providing health care plans or insurance companies to arrange or offer free coverage for preventive health services, such as birth control and contraception, without a co-payment.

While I don’t usually post work updates here, the organization for which I work — the Center for Inquiry — has just submitted formal comments to the Department of Health and Human Services, and I think they merit consideration:

As you are probably know, the proposed rule has faced fierce opposition from religious groups. For example, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has argued that the requirements make for bad health policy and violate the “conscience” of some religious individuals and religiously affiliated employers, allegedly infringing their “religious freedom.” The Bishops want the rule rescinded, or its exemption clause radically expanded.

CFI believes the USCCB fails to recognize the scientific basis of the rules, and displays a regrettable lack of understanding of the concept of religious freedom. We also believe HHS has provided sufficient accommodation to religiously affiliated groups. Our letter outlines the reasons in support of our position. 

You can read CFI’s four-page letter here.