Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The New York Times: Obama Tries to Ease Ire on Contraception Rule, by Helene Cooper & Katharine Seelye:
Facing vocal opposition from religious leaders and an escalating political fight, the White House sought on Tuesday to ease mounting objections to a new administration rule that would require health insurance plans — including those offered by Catholic universities and charities — to offer birth control to women free of charge. . . .
Salon.com: Will Obama compromise on birth control?, by Irin Carmon:
The administration vaguely signals a middle ground with the Catholic Church on contraceptive coverage
This morning, comments made by David Axelrod had pro-choicers in a fresh panic, just days after what felt like a broad-based victory on reproductive rights in the Komen/Planned Parenthood kerfuffle. ”We’re going to look for a way to move forward that both guarantees women that basic preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions,” said Axelrod.
He was talking about Catholic bishops who are furious that affiliated hospitals and universities can’t deny their employees contraceptive coverage through their insurance plans — never mind that actual churches are exempt, that this is coverage that in many cases these institutions already offer, for women and men who are already using contraception in violation of the church’s teachings. The New York Times, among others, interpreted this as a signal of retreat, leading with “The White House may be open to compromising” on the rule, which requires full coverage of contraceptives as preventive care under the Affordable Care Act. . . .
CBS News: McConnell says "Congress will act" on birth control issue if White House doesn't, by Stephanie Condon:
Republicans are keeping up the pressure on the Obama administration to walk back its new rule on birth control coverage, with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning today, "If they don't, Congress will act."
"Make no mistake: the Obama administration's decision to force religious hospitals, charities, and schools to comply with a mandate that violates their religious views is abhorrent to the foundational principles of our nation," McConnell said on the Senate floor. . . .