The HHS mandate forcing Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization will not kick in on August 1, as scheduled; an extension has been granted to January 1, 2014.
There are some changes in the rules worth noting, but they are not satisfactory. Attempts to distance Catholic non-profits from directly providing insurance coverage for these morally objectionable services are admirable, but we’ve been there before: five months ago we were told that more in the way of accommodation was forthcoming, and we applauded that gesture. But now we know that the Obama administration has come up short.
The Catholic community, and many others, are not asking for anything new: all we are asking for is to respect the status quo ante as it applies to this issue. It is not people of faith who sought this confrontation—it is President Obama.