Catholic churches and affiliated organizations in Texas say they won’t stand for a new federal law that would require many employers to provide contraception coverage in their health insurance plans.Although churches are exempt, other religiously affiliated institutions such as hospitals and universities are not.
In Austin, for example, the Seton Healthcare Family, a major nonprofit hospital system that provides health care to 1.8 million Central Texans, doesn’t cover contraception for its employees, and has no intention of starting.
“As a Catholic health system, Seton Healthcare Family does not cover contraceptives for participants in the employee health plan,” said Adrienne Lallo, the system’s communications director. “There are no plans to change.”
Many Catholic entities say the Obama administration’s mandate, which would take effect in August 2013, violates their rights to free exercise of religion.