Maine diocese leads birth control rule protest

Posted Jan. 29, 2012, at 12:16 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine is asking parishioners to speak out and take action against a pending federal rule that will require nonprofit employers with religious affiliations to cover birth control as part of health insurance benefits.

The Maine Sunday Telegram said Bishop Richard Malone is making the request through a letter being read at Masses this weekend.

Malone and clergy across Maine are asking for action against a requirement that’s part of federal health care reforms that became law in 2010. The church says it’s a violation of First Amendment religious freedom rights.

Churches are exempt from the law, but it applies to thousands of people across Maine who work for hospitals, nursing homes, schools, social service organizations and other nonprofits with religious affiliations.

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