Bishop Returns From Vatican Amidst Contraception Controversy

By Stephanie Parkinson

February 19, 2012 Updated Feb 19, 2012 at 12:15 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Bishop Rhoades arrived back in Fort Wayne Saturday evening after visiting the Vatican amidst a brewing controversy between the Catholic community and the president.

The Catholic Church is fighting a new mandate by President Obama to require insurance companies to cover contraceptives. Planned Parenthood Indiana endorses the new requirement.

"It's a preventive care. It's a necessary part of our health system," said Jon Mills, Planned Parenthood Indiana.
"Healthcare is regarding sickness, or disease, pregnancy is not a disease," said Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

"I know people say it's readily available, it is readily available but it's not free. For some people that's a steep cost," said Mills.

Mills says this will affect the way they operate. He says fewer people will have to buy birth control. At Planned Parenthood some qualify to get it for free, others pay a portion of the cost. That money will no longer be used to fund services at Planned Parenthood. But still this change helps the organization focus on their mission.

"The fact that more people are on birth control it will probably reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and that's our mission and our goal," said Mills.

Still the Catholic community is fighting for more than the president's current compromise.

"It's really the same thing, there was no change. Still Catholic universities, colleges, social service agencies, Catholic charities still are not exempt," said Rhoades.

After many Catholic organizations expressed how upset they were with the new mandate President Obama made an exemption for churches.

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