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Bishops draw battle lines after Obama's healthcare victory

Opponents of President Obama's controversial healthcare reforms were stunned when the Supreme Court upheld them yesterday, but a major fightback is expected.

  • Jaweed Kaleem
  • United States
  • June 29, 2012
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Catholic bishops have vowed to continue the fight against what they say is one of the most objectionable outcomes of the health care law that the Supreme Court largely upheld on Thursday: the requirement that religious institutions that aren't strictly for worship, including hospitals and schools, provide birth control with no co-pay as part of insurance plans.

In an email blast to supporters after the court decision, bishops told people to continue "praying for an end to this mandate" and "for the renewal of our nation’s commitment to religious freedom." The email comes in the middle of a two-week long series of prayer vigils and rallies in dozens of dioceses around the country against what church leaders have called an "assault on religious freedom."

The Catholic church -- one of the biggest opponents of the Obama administration's health care legislation -- was not part of the lawsuit that the court ruled on Thursday, but it still took the opportunity to rally its supporters and reiterate its claims that the law threatens the church. Leaders of the church say the Affordable Care Act is flawed because it doesn't include "conscience protection," in which hospitals and employers can object to providing health services and health care coverage that is against their moral or religious beliefs. The church has also said the health care law does not provide adequately for undocumented immigrants.

"The decision of the Supreme Court neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws," bishops said Thursday in a statement.

The bishops kicked off their "Fortnight for Freedom" events against the contraception policy a week ago with a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption in Baltimore. More than 1,000 Catholics attended the standing-room only event, including some who came from neighboring states, according to a spokesman for the Baltimore archdiocese.

Full Story: Health Care Ruling Prompts Catholic Bishops To Amp Up Efforts Against Contraception Mandate

Source: Huffington Post Religion
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