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USCCB Says Administration Mandate Continues to Violate First Amendment Freedoms

Comments filed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on March 20 in response to the Obama Administration's new proposed revisions continue to express concern that the contraceptive mandate is an "unprecedented...violation of religious liberty by the federal government" and must be changed.

According to the USCCB comments, the Obama Administration's revisions continue to exempt only an extremely narrow set of religious employers, primarily "houses of worship." Almost all private health plans must cover sterilization and all FDA-approved "contraceptives," including drugs that can cause abortion, as well as "education and counseling" promoting these to women and girls. This coverage will be imposed "automatically" even on the employees of many religious organizations and their children. Employers and employees will lose their right to seek health coverage that respects their values.

Bishop Richard Pates urges all citizens of good will to file comments to the U.S. Department of Human Services by using the following website: The deadline for filing comments is April 8. For more information on this issue, you can visit the USCCB page at


The Diocese of Des Moines includes 81 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.

(CONTACT: Anne Marie Cox Office of Communications Diocese of Des Moines (515) 237-5057




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