Twin Cities dermatologist may close business rather than offer his employees contraception

A Twin Cities-based dermatologist may close down his business because of the Obama administration's new "preventative services" mandate.

That mandate requires virtually all employers to purchase health insurance plans that cover contraception. Catholics, in particular, believe this requirement violates their faith.

Dr. Michael Ebertz runs five dermatology clinics around the Twin Cities under the name of Skin Care Doctors, P.A. He's reportedly considering closing his business rather than offering his employees health care plans that cover contraception.

Ebertz told the National Catholic Register he is "very upset" about the Department of Health and Human Service's preventative services mandate, which he views as "a direct attack on the tenets of our faith and our individual freedoms and liberties."

He said he's "praying hard" for the mandate to be overturned, but even if it isn't, it doesn't sound like he has any plans to offer his employees health care plans covering contraception.

The Register's reporter writes that Ebertz "has even been wondering if, in a worst-case scenario, he would have to consider dissolving the company, which he helped found in 1998."

In response to the uproar the mandate has caused, a White House blog post points out that no individual will be forced to buy or use contraception. Under the policy, women who want contraception will have access to it through their insurance without paying a co-pay or deductible. But no one will be forced to buy or use it.

That explanation, however, isn't satisfactory to some business-owning Catholics, who apparently want the freedom to impose their contraception-is-sinful beliefs on their employees.

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