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February 22, 2012 1:50 pm

American Jewish Groups Enter Contraception Debate

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Members of National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section (NCJWBCS) joined with other concerned citizens at a rally in Trenton calling for restoration of the funds removed from women's health programs and family planning. Photo: www.ncjwbcs.org.

Amid controversy between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church over the use of contraception, Jewish groups have started voicing their opinions on the issue. Obama has proposed a legislation that would require all religious organizations, regardless of belief, to provide such health services to their employees. Only actual houses of worship would be able to exclude contraception from the health coverage of their employees entirely.

Some Jewish officials said they feel they are also being drawn into the issue. Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s executive director of public policy, said that the organization is not so much against contraception coverage as it is concerned “that some organizations are deserving of protection” from government mandates “and others are not.”

Other Orthodox Jewish organizations expressed concern that this legislation infringes on their constitutional rights to regulate their own health care. However, Jewish women’s groups praised the law. “How can we ensure that women in this country have access to no-cost birth control regardless of where they work,” said Sammie Moshenberg, director of the National Council of Jewish Women Washington office.

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