Birth control mandate spurs debate on religious rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America says ministries should obey the health care mandate that they certify their religious objections to birth control so their employees can get it free from their insurers.

Ilyse Hogue (ih-LEES' HOHG') said that balances the religious rights of employers with those of employees who might want contraceptives.

But Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says dozens of ministries believe it's still wrong to sign a form authorizing others to provide birth control.

Hogue and Rienzi appeared on Fox News Sunday as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor considers whether to lift her stay on enforcement of the contraceptive coverage mandate against the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Rienzi, who represents the nuns, said they shouldn't be forced to either violate their beliefs or face fines that would shut down their nursing homes for the poor.

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