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In today’s On the Square feature , Christopher T. Haley explains how a federal conscience exemption excludes Catholic institutions from participating:

There has been some talk lately—though not nearly enough—about the new healthcare mandate authored by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This mandate, with the deceptively benign title “Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services,” is set to go into effect in August 2012 as part of the Affordable Care Act. That means it will become law without going before the legislature. And if it does, starting a year from now, all healthcare plans will be required to cover a variety of “treatments” that many Americans find objectionable, and Catholics particularly find morally unacceptable.



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