Democratic gubernatorial candidate for governor Edward FitzGerald today attacked Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine over whether contraception should be a mandated benefit covered by insurance.
Two weeks ago DeWine co-signed a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, director of the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services, to expand a religious exemption to the contraceptive requirement that was mandated last year under ObamaCare.
FitzGerald said DeWine's position threatens to undo "this incredibly important preventive health care action" (the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare).
Here's FitzGerald's letter: Download FitzGerald_Contraception_Letter.
Excerpt: "No woman should have to justify using birth control to her boss in order to have access to it.This is fundamentally an issue of equality, equality for women to have access to quality health care and contraception.This issue has already been addressed with the rather expansive exemption extended to over 335,000 churches and houses of worship through the religious exemption."
DeWine signed a letter with 12 other GOP state attorneys general as part of a public comment period on the HHS's proposed regulations to implement the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s a matter of freedom of religion from my point of view,” DeWine told The Blade. “It’s not about contraception or abortion. … I believe this regulation violates the [federal] Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Bill Clinton about 20 years ago. It builds upon the great tradition of religious liberty by ensuring the federal government does not substantially burden the free exercise of people’s religion.”
Download State Attorneys General on Contraceptive Benefit
The letter from the attorneys general argues that the narrow exemption for religious organizations allowed last year should be extended to others with religious concerns, even though they challenge the concept that such coverage would be provided free from insurers. There’s no such exemption for private employers.
Also weighing in on the DeWine letter was former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper who is weighing a run against DeWine in 2014.