Washington, D.C. – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released a revised rule intended to reconcile religious freedom concerns with the new health care law’s requirement that all women have access to coverage for contraception. In response, Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement raising concerns that while the new proposal theoretically ensures women have access to covered contraception, successful implementation of such a rule might be more complicated.

On the surface, HHS’ new proposed rule looks like a workable solution to a complicated problem, but it is not without danger in terms of precedent and implementation. While the plan appears to provide a means to take faith-based organizations out of the middle of the relationship between an employee and the insurance company – thereby ensuring coverage for contraceptives without the employer ever having to hear about it – the real question is whether such a model can be successfully implemented.

Furthermore, we should not be in the position of allowing a single religious perspective to dictate public policy. Will this solution truly serve women who are simply trying to receive the medical care that is their right as well as a means to avoid additional, unfair out-of-pocket costs and to avoid bureaucratic nightmares? And what about the many women whose doctors prescribe contraception for medical reasons other than birth control? I certainly hope that the proposal does all these things, but time will tell.

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.