The final version of Obamacare’s “preventive services” regulation that the Department of Health and Human Services published on Friday discriminates against faithful members of the Roman Catholic Church by effectively barring them from owning and operating health-insurance companies.

This is because the regulation orders health insurance companies to provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to all female beneficiaries except those insured by “religious employers”–which, according to the regulation, includes only actual “houses of worship” (n.b. parish churches), their immediate auxiliaries, associations of houses of worship and the “exclusively religious activities of any religious order.”

The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception, and abortion are intrinsically immoral. The church also teaches that Catholics are not allowed to cooperate in evil acts such as abortion–which the church says is a form of murder.

Under the final regulation, even Catholic organizations such as Catholic hospitals, universities and charities are not counted as “religious employers.”

Thus, if a Catholic university wanted to seek out and do business with a health-insurance company whose owners ran their company wholly in keeping with Catholic teachings, the university would not be allowed to do so because all insurance companies providing health insurance to Catholic universities will now be required to pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs for the employees of those universities.

When the final version of the regulation was proposed earlier this year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) presented comments to the Department of Health and Human Services pointing out that the regulation would require insurers who had conscientious objections to the mandated services to nonetheless provide them.

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