When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into legislation over a year ago, the American healthcare system experienced the largest social overhaul since the New Deal. With change on the horizon, the long comprehensive bill was still relatively unfamiliar to most Americans. Most citizens had little knowledge of the bill’s details, because the media mainly focused on the major provisions of the bill.
Over the past few months, religious groups have become familiar with some of the healthcare policy reform. One stipulation set to become law in January 2013 requires employers to provide coverage for birth control methods under employee health plans. This provision includes non-profit institutions such as religious associated hospitals, colleges, and social work organizations. These institutions were previously not required to provide birth control methods because of their religious beliefs.
The new policy has sparked outrage from religious groups. The anger has brought up a legitimate question about the control of the federal government. It has led to some groups calling for a violation of the Bill of Rights, and the persecution of religious freedom.‘ “Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience,” said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.’
While Dolan is correct in his claim, some state governments already required employers to provide “the pill.” Pro-choice and women advocacy groups have applauded the new legislation. They are happy woman’s health rights will no longer be compromised by specific employers and States. Instead, birth control rights will be held under a pervasive federal law.