US Bishops: Defend Conscience Before Sept. 30

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Only two weeks remain for U.S. citizens to protest conscience violations found in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directives for health insurance.

The U.S. bishops have asked citizens to express their concern to the HHS before the Sept. 30 deadline.

On Aug. 1, the HHS issued an "interim final rule" that will require virtually all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and related "patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."

These are listed among "preventive services for women" that all health plans will have to include without co-pays or other cost-sharing -- regardless of whether the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman herself objects to such coverage.

The bishops have made material available to evaluate the HHS rule and to respond.

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On the Net:

Information and action alert: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection