Planned Parenthood slams GOP over contraception opt-out in fiscal deal

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Reps. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suggested language weakening the birth control mandate as a way to bring conservatives on board with Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) proposal.

Huelskamp said he was worried that there were “no religious liberty protections” in the original plan.

The healthcare law requires employers to cover certain preventive services, including contraception, in their employees' healthcare plans. Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the contraception requirement, and religious-affiliated employers have a middle ground that requires them to offer the benefit without directly paying for it.

Some conservatives want a broader exemption, allowing any employer to opt out of any coverage mandate that violates his or her religious beliefs.

The Senate defeated such a proposal in 2012.

“Although this isn’t the first time they've tried, it's alarming how far some Tea Party members in the House will go to attack birth control and other basic preventive healthcare for women," Richards said.

Several business owners have sued to block the contraception mandate. The issue will likely end up before the Supreme Court, possibly during the current term.