Obama’s Contraception Compromise Falls Flat With Bishops, GOP

President Obama’s effort to accommodate the Catholic Church by altering his administration’s rule on birth control coverage has not appeased the church, congressional Republicans or GOP candidates trying to take his job next year.

Their continued anger over a requirement that nearly all employers offer free insurance coverage for contraception — even with changes Obama announced Friday (Feb. 10) for faith-based institutions that object on religious grounds — guarantees that the issue will percolate throughout the presidential election season.

Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, summed it up this way: “It’s the unstoppable force meets the immovable object.”

While challenges to the rule could take the form of legal and legislative assaults, the White House and the Obama re-election campaign are comfortable with the revised rule, believing most Americans — and particularly most women — are on their side.

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew insisted Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the right of women to all forms of preventative health care” was an unshakeable part of Obama’s health care overhaul. He noted groups such as the Catholic Health Association supported the revised mandate, which lets certain religious employers avoid providing or paying for contraception directly. [More]


The Washington Post