• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 39s

Religious groups excluded from birth control mandate

By Chip Reid/CBS News 6:10 AM January 2, 2014

The Obama administration included a compromise in the law that allows religious groups to sign a certification opting out of the contraceptive requirement

New Year’s Day was the day that President Obama’s health care law took effect — most of it, anyway.

A U.S. Supreme Court justice temporarily blocked a controversial part of the law as it applies to some religious organizations.

The one-page order issued late Tuesday night by Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily exempts some church-affiliated organizations from a requirement in the health care law that they provide health insurance that includes birth control.

Those organizations include The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns who provide nursing care for the elderly.

In their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, they said they could face “millions of dollars in fines” because they cannot comply with the law’s requirement to provide access to contraceptives, which are “forbidden by their religion.”

The Obama administration included a compromise in the law that allows religious groups to sign a certification opting out of the contraceptive requirement — leaving responsibility for providing that coverage to insurance companies.

But that’s not good enough, according to Daniel Blomberg, of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the nuns in the lawsuit.

“The Little Sisters say, ‘We can’t do that. Our religious beliefs prevent us from not only participating directly, but also participating from forcing someone else to do it,’” he said.

The case could affect hundreds of nonprofit Catholic organizations and ministries across the country.

Marcia Greenberger is with the National Women’s Law Center. “Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women, at some point in their lives, will use contraceptives,” she said. “The issue is, whose religious freedom are we talking about — an employer’s religious freedom or an individual woman’s own religious judgments about what she should be able to do herself?”

Numerous religious organizations have filed federal lawsuits against the contraceptive requirement, and even some private companies have filed lawsuits saying that it violates their religious rights. All of this is expected eventually to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Aviation threat level bumped up for Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano

    by Associated Press on Jul 01, 12:51

    The Alaska Volcano Observatory is again raising the threat level for a remote volcano near the Aleutian Islands. The observatory says seismicity at Pavlof Volcano increased Thursday. Web camera images Friday showed minor steam emissions. That observatory raised the aviation advisory color code from green to yellow, one step above normal volcanic activity. Pavlof Volcano […]

  • Lifestyle

    Week of Fourth of July is the riskiest time for kids in the water

    by Mary Brophy Marcus / CBS News on Jul 01, 12:14

    Canon balls, diving stunts, wave riding. Keeping cool in the pool, lake, ocean or water park is what summer’s all about for many kids. But emergency room physicians say summer is also when they see many water-related injuries and deaths among children. Simple safety precautions could avoid a lot of preventable tragedies. The number one rule […]

  • Sports

    Anchorage Bucs see what Beep Baseball is all about

    by Dave Goldman on Jul 01, 9:45

    The late Ted Williams said hitting a baseball was the hardest thing to do in sports. But the Red Sox Hall of Famer never had to play blindfolded. Welcome to Beep Baseball. The Anchorage Bucs took a night off from the traditional game to try their hand at this newer version at Mulcahy Stadium. The […]

  • Crime

    Police seek help, offer reward to locate person of interest in Merrill Field vandalism case

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 01, 9:01

    Police are looking for anyone with information about who may have caused $200,000 damage to airplanes at Merrill Field in early June. According to a release on Friday, the Anchorage Police Department says security camera footage shows a person who was there early that morning. Around 9 a.m. on June 2, APD was notified that more […]

  • DayBreak

    Daybreak Adopt-a-Pet for July 1, 2016

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 01, 9:00

      From Anchorage Animal Care and Control Dogs: Charlie: Don’t be fooled by Charlie – you might see his quiet and reserved side first but after that, he’ll be loving you with hugs and sidling up to you for cuddles. He’ll also show off his extensive knowledge – sit, shake, down and fetch! Bella: Bella […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska State Troopers rescue man who wanted to build wilderness cabin

    by Associated Press on Jul 01, 8:50

    An Alaska State Trooper in a floatplane rescued a 29-year-old New York City man who set out to build a cabin and live in the wilderness. Vladimir Yakushin was picked up Wednesday on the north fork of the Kuskokwim River about 120 river miles northeast of McGrath. Troopers described him as low on food and […]

  • Mt. Marathon Race

    From mushing to Mount Marathon: The Seavey family rivalry

    by Emily Carlson on Jul 01, 8:25

    Any time the Seavey family gathers, it somehow turns into a competition. They’re known for mushing, but this weekend, their focus is on Mount Marathon — and the youngest brother has been scheming for months. “I have a plan to take Dallas out of the race. He should recover from it within a few months. […]

  • News

    AST: Bicyclist struck, killed on Sterling Highway near Soldotna

    by Associated Press on Jul 01, 8:00

    A Soldotna woman riding a bicycle died Thursday afternoon when she was struck by a truck on the Sterling Highway. Alaska State Troopers say 50-year-old Vanessa Wilkes was struck by a one-ton commercial pickup driven by 40-year-old Charles Kuntz of Nikiski. Wilkes was riding along Mile 91.5 about three miles east of Soldotna. Troopers say […]