CINCINNATI (AP) - Catholic leaders in Ohio are joining the chorus of church officials urging parishioners to protest and pray about the federal government's decision to require many church-affiliated institutions to cover free birth control for employees.
Bishops in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo shared their opposition in letters distributed or read to parishioners this weekend, saying the decision runs counter to their beliefs. They say they won't comply with a requirement for health coverage of services such as contraception, abortion-inducing drugs or sterilization. They're urging parishioners to pray or fast and to consider contacting lawmakers in Congress to push for legislation reversing the requirement.
Houses of worship are exempt, but it applies to nonprofit institutions such as church-affiliated hospitals, colleges and social service agencies.