Obama administration drafting new birth control accommodation for religious nonprofits

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is developing a new way for religious nonprofits that object to paying for contraceptives in their health plans to opt out, without submitting a form they say violates their religious beliefs.

The government has been searching for solutions since the Supreme Court decided an evangelical college can avoid filling out the form while its case is being appealed.

The form lets faith-affiliated groups transfer responsibility for paying for birth control to insurers or third-party administrators. But Wheaton College says just filling out that form makes it complicit in subsidizing coverage they oppose.

The Obama administration says that within one month, it will release new regulations creating an alternative way for religious groups to indicate their objection. The administration says it won’t involve shifting the costs to employees.