GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - When Catholics in northeast Wisconsin go to church this weekend, they’ll be told to oppose a new federal rule that requires most health insurance plans to pay for contraceptives. The rule goes farther and requiring religious non-profit health insurance groups, who used to be able to object, will have a couple years before they have to provide contraceptives. Green Bay Bishop David Ricken has asked priests in his diocese to read a letter from him during their Masses. He said the contraceptive coverage rule is quote, “unjust” – and it’s a direct violation of Roman Catholic teachings. He says federal health officials should overturn the rule. And if they don’t, Ricken says Catholics will either have to go against their consciences – or if they’re employers, they’ll have to drop coverage for their workers and suffer the consequences. The new rule takes effect August first. Most health plans would have to cover contraceptive services without charging co-pays or deductibles. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the rule was drafted with religious concerns in mind. But Bishop Ricken disagrees, and says the rule goes much farther than invading individual conscience.
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