A diverse group of religious leaders is pressing the Obama administration to exempt any American who objects to the contraception mandate in the federal health care law.
Catholics, Mormons, Southern Baptists and dozens more issued an â€œOpen Letter to all Americansâ€ on Tuesday that decries the birth control coverage requirement as a departure from the countryâ€™s founding principles of religious freedom.
Their missive and public remarks are sure to maintain a spotlight on a high-profile battle over the provision in the Affordable Care Act, which requires many employers to insure a wide range of contraceptives in their health plans or face penalties.
â€œWeâ€™re not going to back down on this question,â€ Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told reporters at a news conference in downtown Washington.
Their public challenge comes four days after the Obama administration refused to relax its approach for religiously affiliated nonprofits such as schools and hospitals, as well as private corporations that object to the mandate.
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