Birth control mandate lawsuits make case for systematic disrepect toward religion
In addition to contraception services, the IOM also recommended the mandate include cervical cancer screenings, counseling on sexually transmitted diseases, expanded pregnancy care and counseling on domestic violence.
"Whether it’s appropriate for religious institutions to have a mandate was clearly not part of our charge, and it shouldn’t be part of what the scientific evidence says," Beheny said. "It's the government's job, particularly Congress, to decide how the values of the American people get translated into policy."
But Rienzi said the IOM can't completely absolve itself from contributing to the legal standoff over the mandate.
"The IOM only made the unsurprising conclusion that contraceptives reduce pregnancy, they did not go further and take any position on whether forced employer-funded insurance would increase use of the drugs," he said. "So the government has no basis for its claim that the mandate is needed to serve a compelling interest, which is why 11 federal courts have already issued injunctions protecting employers with religious objections."
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