• 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

    AFD conducts water rescue training on Cook Inlet

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jun 25, 14:37

    The Anchorage Fire Department is warning people not to try and walk from the Anchorage shore across to Fire Island. Authorities say that too often, attempts turn deadly. Anchorage Fireman and their partners from Ted Stevens practiced water rescues Saturday afternoon. They were working with jet skis and a boat. AFD says in the summer, […]

  • News

    Columbus Day to be known as Indigenous Peoples day in Alaska

    by Liz Raines on Jun 25, 14:27

    From now on, Columbus Day in Alaska will be known as Indigenous Peoples day. Gov. Bill Walker signed House Bill 78 into law Saturday, in Utquiagvik, the town formerly known as Barrow. The signing took place at Nalukataq, the Inupiaq whaling festival. The setting was particularly symbolic for many there, where the American, Alaska and Inupiat […]

  • Anchorage’s Swayman, Evingson selected in NHL Draft

    by Dave Leval on Jun 25, 14:20

    Jeremy Swayman’s dad grew up a New York Rangers’ fan. Looks like he will have to root for another “Original Six” team. The Boston Bruins selected Jeremy in the fourth round of Saturday’s NHL Draft. The 18-year-old Anchorage native spent the last two seasons as a goalie with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United […]

  • Sports

    Musher Travis Beals allowed to compete in 2018 Iditarod

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jun 25, 13:49

    Domestic violence is a big problem in Alaska, and this year, the issue made headlines when it became a focus of the last great race. A musher had to sit out of the Iditarod due to domestic violence charges against him. But now, musher Travis Beals could be back on the trail next March. Beals […]

  • News

    Brown bear mauls cyclist on JBER

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jun 25, 12:43

    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says a pair of cyclists encountered a bear on JBER Saturday morning. Authorities say the pair came across a brown bear with cubs while cycling on a main gravel road near Clunie Lake. The cyclists used bear spray to fend off the sow, but one cyclist was “knocked […]

  • Statue stands in honor of Iditarod founder

    by Dave Leval on Jun 24, 22:21

    He already has a school named after him, now, there’s another way to honor the man known as the “father of the Iditarod.” It took Palmer artist Pat Garley took roughly 18 months to complete the “Joe Redington, Senior on the Trail” statue that sits outside Redington Junior-Senior High School. The part of Redington weighs […]

  • Rookie musher first to sign up for 2018 Iditarod

    by Dave Leval on Jun 24, 22:19

    Shaynee Traska has what she needs as she prepares for the biggest challenge of her athletic career. The Yukon Quest 300 veteran from Two Rivers wants to play with the big dogs. Traska is the first person to sign up for next year’s Iditarod. “Very surprised, being a big Iditarod sign up day, I thought […]

  • News

    Pride Fest celebrates 40 years in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 24, 18:04

    Hundreds of people turned out in downtown Anchorage for the 40th annual Pride Fest. Mo Haddock and Callene Monasmith set their lawn chairs up early to get a front for the parade. “It’s a lot of fun. We like to people watch anyway but today is very fulfilling. Very heartwarming to see so many people […]