New York Times: biased title and balanced article about HHS mandate cases

Except for the screamingly inaccurate title, this article is actually a fairly balanced presentation of the state of affairs regarding HHS mandate suits. The title, “Religious Groups Fight Coverage of Birth Control” sets a very negative tone.  A better description might be, “Religious Groups Fight Against Being Forced to Provide Abortion-Inducing Drugs, Sterilization, and Contraception.”  Religious groups aren’t fighting against “birth control coverage,” per se–only against being forced to violate their faiths while providing objectionable services.  Also, most of the Protestant groups and businesses fighting the HHS mandate have no problem with birth control.  The article does point this out, but the tone is set in the headline.

The article points out the incomplete and arbitrary nature of the mandate’s religious exception, giving the example of Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic school founded by Benedictine monks.  They are not considered religious and are thus not exempt from the mandate.  

The article points out that the decisive cases will be those by private businesses.  The administration is attempting (reportedly) to craft some sort of accommodation for religious institutions that don’t meet the narrow requirements of the mandate for exemption, but there will be no “religious exception” for private businesses.  In these cases, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will be the test against which cases are decided.  

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