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Local Lutheran Leader Weighs In On New Birth Control Guidelines

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File photo of a Bishop holding a cross while leading mass. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Bishop holding a cross while leading mass. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The head of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Church Missouri Synod says he isn’t on board with newly-revised Obama Administration guidelines on mandatory birth control coverage for employers.

The Reverend Dr. Matthew Harrison calls this new accommodation for religious institutions that object to the contraception mandate a step in the right direction, but only a step.

“The revision, while it frees up religious institutions, hopefully, it still is a terrible conscience burden on Christians who have conscience problems with abortifacients in their business practice,” he said. “If you’re a religious person or company, and you do not believe in abortifacients or, for Roman Catholics, who do not believe in birth control as a matter of principle, they ought to have the option not to provide those services in health plans.”

The new directives allow religiously-affiliated organizations to opt out of the mandatory birth control coverage which would then be provided by a third party at no charge.

Harrison testified before Congress last year on his reaction to the original plan. Harrison says he expects this whole issue to be decided in the church’s favor at the U.S. Supreme Court level.

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