Obama announces contraception compromise
February 10th, 2012
12:23 PM ET

Obama announces contraception compromise

[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama announced a compromise Friday in the dispute over whether to require full contraception insurance coverage for female employees at religiously affiliated institutions.

Under the new plan, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions.

Female employees at churches themselves will have no guarantee of any contraception coverage - a continuation of current law.

There will be a one-year transition period for religious organizations after the policy formally takes effect on August 1.

"No woman's health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes." Obama said at the White House. But "the principle of religious liberty" is also at stake. "As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right."

[Updated at 10:11 a.m. ET] The Obama administration's contraception compromise will expand the religious exemption for religiously affiliated universities and hospitals, a source tells CNN Friday. Individuals will be able to get contraceptive coverage directly from insurers.

[Initial post, 8:30 a.m. ET] The White House probably will announce a compromise Friday on a controversial rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women, an administration source said.

News of the possible compromise comes after days of escalating partisan and ideological rhetoric over the pending rule, which many Catholic leaders and other religious groups oppose.

As currently written, the rule would exempt churches, but hospitals and schools with religious affiliations would have to comply. The new policy is set to go into effect on August 1, though religious groups would have a yearlong extension to implement the rule.

The administration has been examining laws in 28 states that have similar coverage requirements, senior administration sources said this week. Two sources have told CNN that the administration is particularly interested in the Hawaii model, in which female employees of religious institutions can purchase contraceptive coverage directly from the insurer at the same price offered to employees of all other employers.

Another possible solution, one source has said, would be legislation allowing women employed by religiously affiliated employers to get contraceptive insurance from the exchanges created under Obama's sweeping health care reform rather than from their employer's insurer.

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soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. jorgesedano

    Of course.. The prez got reamed on this decision. Have to get this off the news and what better day than a Friday...

    February 10, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • cw

      It's a shame that rules like this have actually been in place for a while, but now that Obama is behind them the Republicans get up in arms about it.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Yes we must respect an organization with a history of burnning children alive in the public square to rid them of demons to mordern times when they protect child molesters...When will people wake up?

      February 10, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jasie

    Again, the president has assaulted religious Americans, even Biden has better sense.

    February 10, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • cw

      Fail. These rules have been on the books for years... But now that Obama is behind them, Republicans are upset. Faux outrage is hilarious.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • bfpierce

      If they've been on the books for years then why is this federal rule stated here "pending"...

      "Controversy has raged over a pending federal rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women"

      February 10, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Just saying

    Compromise means Catholics will e required to roll over, again. We already have to call Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree. Piece by piece dictator takes our rights. Every month another religion is attacked. two months ago He attack Jewish people now is Catholics, I am assuming Mormons are next.

    February 10, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • HenryB

      Oh, please "Just Saying", get off of this nonsense. You don't have to call the Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree. Who on earth told you to do that. If businesses do this because it is in their best economic interest then that is their own decision. How did President Obama attack Jewish people? Making hay out of this religious issue will only get you as far as your rabid base and no further. Keep railing against anything that is not your version of "conservatism" and you will further alienate those who don't appreciate your own tactics and those of your puppet masters.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Until they stop protecting child rapists, I have nothing for them. Get real....

      February 10, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      As a Catholic I say Merry Christmas, now a corporate store might ask its staff to be me inclusive with their language during the holiday season and simply say "Happy Holidays". My faith has NOT been shaken by this move, the Church is not being forced to shut its doors. Many Catholic Universities offer Birth control, SURPRISE Republicans. You cry about no prayer in schools, why are you not Praying at home as a Family that you feel is between one man and one woman??? Your all a bunch of bullies who wants to deny people anything to make your self feel better. Not even your bags of dirty Money make you happy, because it was not earned honorably.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Catholics have never rolled over and compromised on anything.
      If you don't want birth control, don't practice it.
      Catholics have been firmly entrenched in arcaic beliefs since...forever.
      I remember Vatican II, and the bloody bruhaha that it entailed, including the swtich from Latin to English so that people could actually UNDERSTAND Mass...
      This applies to the non-Catholic personnel that work in the different Catholic enterprises...which ARE businesses...and as a business, if they provide health care, they should provide the same health-care to EVERYONE.
      They provide coverage for Viagra and the like, why shouldn't they provide the pill that would prevent what Viagra could *cause*?
      Silly.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Quite simply. allow priests to marry.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Stop the Catholic Control of Our Bodies

    Cations leaders cover up pedophiles, and Catholic men can get Viagra through their Catholic insurance, but as women are second class citizens in the Catholic Church, women get shafted. Why would any woman join an organization that believes women are inferior to men?

    February 10, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. MAL

    Guess the American Religious Right is a little behind in the times, didn't the Pope reverse his stance on contraceptives like condoms...

    February 10, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • leo

      No he did not, condoms cannot be used for birth control, in countries where AIDS is a serious problem he said they could be used to prevent the spread AIDS

      February 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Bry

      Yes they did in contraceptives (I think), but on murdering babies-the line holds. Besides, no person or church decides what is right and wrong. Only God does.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Q

      This is the same man that did all he could to protect his child molesting clergy. Voodoo priests have more credability...

      February 10, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    Good...a backlash has the white house "compromising". Liberals should consider personal responsibility as a contraceptive..and not an abortion pill. Liberals and dems are destroying the morality and dignity of this country...not to mention the economy.

    February 10, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • HenryB

      Blah, blah, blah.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MAL

      Coming from the conservative party whose one of the leaders has had multiple divorces...

      February 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      The economy? Ha! You think it will be cheaper to have the Gov't support all these babies that could be born if there were no more birth control?? Oh, and get your facts straight about birth control pills... The ones I took kept me from ovulating – it didn't abort anything.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike w

    Sorry, church run businesses and organizations are just going to have to step into the 21st century. A Catholic hospital cannot discriminate on who they hire on religious grounds, and likewise shouldn't be allowed do deny them certain forms of health care on those grounds either.

    If you disagree, ask yourself this: Should a Jehovah's Witness run business or organization have the right to refuse their employees health insurance that covered blood transfusions? Should a Scientologist business be able to deny coverage that includes psychiatric care or treatment for post partum depression?

    February 10, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sandy

    Religion is NOT being attacked. EMPLOYEES are to be offered free birth control IF THEY WANT IT. It's not being forced on anyone....

    February 10, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Philosopher

      This is a straw man. No one's claiming that people are being forced to use contraceptives.

      Catholic business owners are being forced to provide them to their employees, and Catholic employees are being forced to pay for anyone who uses them (through their premiums), contrary to what their consciences dictate.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      So you want the employees to pay for babies to be born, cared for etc when maybe, just maybe the woman wanted birth control and her insurance wouldnt cover it? Churches are exempt – hospitals and schools hire a lot of non-Catholics do they not? Why should these women go without because some archbishop says its wrong? Oh, and what about the stats that show about 90-95% of Catholic women have used or now use birth control? hmmm....

      February 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. iceload9

    "conservatives consider it a violation of the First Amendment and an infringement on religious liberty." I'm not a conservative but I totally agree with this. Why should the Catholics have to dismiss their convictions?

    February 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MAL

      Do they get federal funding...?

      February 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. cwb

    I really wish people would stop seeing this as an attack on women or an attack on religious freedom. The real question is how can our government "require" any business or organization to provide anything?

    February 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Bob

      All other businesses in the US that provide insurance for their employees, provide full coverage, including birth control. I agree that maybe actual churches should be exempted but not other businesses like hospitals that are affiliated with religion. There should be equal medical care for everyone and equal coverage under employer privided insurance.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • cwb

      Not all bussinesses provide the same coverage. They are not "required" to. Bussinesses offer coverage which is either negotiated, what they feel will draw good employees or what they can afford to offer. I have held jobs before that offered only major medical.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. sue

    The sad thing is, not all patients who go into hospitals with religious affiliations are going to be members of that particular religion. So of course they would be forced to go elsewhere at a later time.(!?) And of course, they are also saying their fellow Catholics (or whoever) are too stupid or easily persuaded away from their teachings to be trusted. No faith in their faith.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • leo

      It has nothing to do with patients it has to do with staff, this law requires religious org. as well as others to provide an insurance policy that will provide this coverage to their employees and with no deductable or co-pay. Your insurance in fact all insurance will be required to provide this coverage. It will make everyone's insurance go up as this coverage does not come free. The insurance companies will be raising premiums on everyone to pay for this.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Bob

    Just throwning a bone to religious dimwits. Religion will be the downfall of America. How so many people can actually believe that ancient mythology has anything to do with reality is beyond me. They live in a delusionary fantasy world. Pathetic.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And that is your belief.
      Do not think for one moment that you speak for all, Jim Bob.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sagebrush Shorty

    Once again Obama is trying to do the job of Congress.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Seeing as Congress refuses to do their job...

      February 10, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Patricksday

    I did'nt know that President Obama is ordering all Churches to Close, and all People of supposed "Faith" to STOP. Faith is something you have or your don't, and most "Christians" are only superficial when it comes to Living their faith. If you don"t like birth control don"t use it. The Churches/Temples will still enjoy all the TAX FREE BENEFITS this only a Political football for the very Desperate Republican Party.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. e vigil

    obamas pray was on phony balony religiousity ? well first lets fix child abuse in all churches crimen soliscitacionis money laundring vigano and tax havens howabout men who have twenty little girls as wifes or podorist priests before we start throwing the country outa wak over all the aids victims dieing and over population because we dont use condoms the united nations already nows the problem is a moral problem that will now be fixed by condoms or vaçcines it is a móral issue about fornication adultery and lóose values fr let GOD THE FATHER BE FOUND TRUE.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
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