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Catholic hospitals: Progress in birth control rule

Wednesday - 2/13/2013, 7:40pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A trade group for Roman Catholic hospitals says the latest federal rules on birth control coverage are an improvement.

But the Catholic Health Association said Wednesday it won't make a final judgment until after canvassing its members.

Religious leaders have been seeking a broader exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services requirement that employers provide insurance that covers contraception. It's part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Churches are exempt. The agency's latest compromise also creates a buffer between religious charities and birth control coverage.

U.S. bishops last week said the new rules don't answer all their objections, but they will work on finding a solution.

The Catholic Health Association says its concerns are narrower in scope. Bishops also want an exemption for for-profit business owners.


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