Planned Parenthood: Contraception suit 'unbelievable'

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“This isn’t a religious or political issue — it’s a medical issue, and that’s where we should keep it,” Richards said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting women’s access to preventive health services, including birth control, and we will work to ensure that no woman has to worry about how she will afford her next birth control prescription.”

The administration's policy requires most businesses to cover contraception in their employees' health plans. Churches and houses of worship are exempt. While religious-affiliated employers such as Catholic universities don't have to provide the coverage directly, their employees can get birth control through the insurance company, still without paying a co-pay or deductible.

Catholic groups challenging the mandate say passing the burden to insurers isn't sufficient. They want an exemption for all business owners who are Catholic.

The Health and Human Services Department based the mandate on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, an independent panel of healthcare experts. President Obama's healthcare law requires certain preventive services to be covered without a co-pay, and the IOM said contraception should be included among those preventive services.