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Religions 2015, 6(4), 1411-1432;

The Catholic Bishops vs. the Contraceptive Mandate

UNLV Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Byrnes
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 13 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Bishops in US Politics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [224 KB, uploaded 18 December 2015]


The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States have publicly opposed artificial contraception since they first issued a public statement condemning it in 1919. Thereafter, the bishops were generally unsuccessful in persuading the public that contraceptive access should be restricted. Recently, however, the bishops succeeded in a campaign to restrict access to contraceptives for Catholic and non-Catholic women alike. Their lobbying and public criticism of the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires employer health plans to offer preventive reproductive care coverage, forced Obama administration officials into a series of accommodations that gutted portions of the law intended to provide contraception to employees without copayment or cost sharing. In contrast to their earlier efforts to restrict reproductive freedom, the bishops successfully characterized their efforts against the ACA as a battle for religious freedom rather than against reproductive rights. This successful strategy may lead to future setbacks for women’s reproductive liberty. View Full-Text
Keywords: first Amendment; contraception; bishops; Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Affordable Care Act; contraceptive mandate first Amendment; contraception; bishops; Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Affordable Care Act; contraceptive mandate
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Griffin, L.C. The Catholic Bishops vs. the Contraceptive Mandate. Religions 2015, 6, 1411-1432.

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