As religious groups maintain their drumbeat of opposition to the new federal rule mandating contraception coverage for all private employer health plans, some commentators have identified Hawaii’s bill as a possible “compromise” that could address criticism.
But a key official in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says the Hawaii bill — repeatedly cited in media commentary — would not resolve the conference’s concerns and would, in any case, be overridden by the federal rule.
“I’ve reviewed the Hawaii law, and it’s not much of a compromise,” said Richard Doerflinger of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities and the bishops’ chief lobbyist on life issues in the nation’s capital. “The Hawaii contraceptive mandate has many of the same features as the new federal mandate.”
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