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Associated Press
A demonstrator holds up a sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court in this June 30 file photo. The Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees, while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees.

The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance company, that birth control violates their religious beliefs.

The government is also extending an existing accommodation to some for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby that’s currently available only to nonprofits. That accommodation requires groups to sign a form transferring responsibility for paying for birth control to their insurers or third-party administrators.

The dual decisions embrace suggestions included in recent Supreme Court rulings. But they’re unlikely to go far enough to satisfy religious groups. That’s because they would still make the groups complicit in a system that provides birth control through their organizations’ health plans.

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