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.

soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Philip

    The WH might as well compromise. The church already did, just not officially. Ya gotta watch what you put down in writing when it comes to the church business these days. They call the pope "holy see", not holy write.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Official Doctrine

    The church can do whatever it wants as long as it doesn't become official church doctrine. Like, catholic women can use b/c all they want, just not in any official capacity. Not unlike Israel whose covenant with God forbids that nation from forming alliances with foreign nations. Israel can go ahead and accept US taxpayer aid and weaponry, just not in any official religious capacity. Otherwise, you could blame it on God.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. TORI ©

    I repeat for the Third time and maybe it will post: Theologians, politicians, and corporate enti* ties have no business getting involved in this very private and personal issue.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ¬©

      It's maddening isn't it. It's those three letters together. Just to be sarcastic, I've chosen to substeatute letters, rather than insert a space or add a *.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • TORI ¬©

      @bombo, maddening and so darn frustrating. I will try your method. Grrrr....

      February 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ¬©

      I still can't understand why the word J*A*P*A*N gets blocked. We've been puzzling over that for a while. I use Nippon instead. It's more accurate anyway.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©


      February 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Ok. We've left God out of the government...seperation of church and state. We've left God out of our schools now. Seperation of something or other. We've left God out of abortion, birth control, gay marriage...we've left God out of our bedrooms. Can he still use the restroom? Would that be ok if we observed God's laws concerning human waste removal? No?

    February 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Nope. We wouldn't be allowed to adopt God's laws regarding human waste removal. Some folks enjoy the tint of dung in their bedrooms. Some even enjoy fecal matter outright. We wouldn't want any sanitation laws violating their rights to dung in the bedroom.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • TORI ¬©

      @Phillip, that comment is disgusting!!

      February 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Why on earth anyone would be concerned with another's bedroom activities has always escaped me...and logic, TORI.
      There is still endless fascination with it, though.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOMBO ©

    Whenever rights of two groups or individuals come into conflict, the old saying holds – the right of your fist ends where the tip of my nose begins. It could be argued that if giving church related oranizations a certain amount of lateatude doesn't hurt anyone else, then go ahead. If it does hurt society in some way, then no lateatude should be given.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Oldbroad

    Catholic hospitals, schools and any other faith based organization that takes federal/state monies should expect to conform to the same rules as any other business.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      You would think if people were really RELIGIOUS like they say they are, Churches wouldn't need to be funded at all by the Government... The upright citzens of this country would give enough for the church to survive.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Not talking about CHURCHES, talking about HOSPITALS.
      Huge difference.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ banasy, there are Hospitals that have religious affliations and that is what the article stated.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Yes, I know, Mary, but the Church doesn't fund the hospital, as your post implied; it's a business...
      Hence, the controversy...because they do not employ solely Catholic employess.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Donna can you ever take a correction of your post with out scratching some one in the eyes
      Sheesh !
      OLDBROAD's statement is correct.
      Your understanding is not
      Cant stand it when people cant take being corrected
      Get over it Donna

      February 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Mary, I wasn't correcting her post, I was correcting YOURS.
      Re-read what you wrote...hospital wasn't even in the sentence.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      In case you forgot, here is what you originally wrote:

      "You would think if people were really RELIGIOUS like they say they are, Churches wouldn't need to be funded at all by the Government... The upright citzens of this country would give enough for the church to survive."

      My answer was we are talking about hospitals, not churches.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      OLDBROAD's first words were "catholic hospitals" banasy
      I don't have time for this bickering, I have to work!
      Good day

      February 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      churches will be and are controoled by Government wether you like it or not banasy
      Or even see it for that matter
      I really gotta work now

      February 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      I wasn't talking about OldBroad's post, but of yours.
      Sorry that you do not take to correction so well.
      Good day, yourself.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Mary, you started all this, not I.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ banasy, I was keying all alone today and it was crazy there. I see what you meant when saying you were talking to me, my apologies to that.

      My comment was to say If the Churches or it's affiliates don't want to be under the Federal Governments thumb, they hafta start putting pressure on their congregation to provide more to financial support to them.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scott

    Well, if we could repeal obamacare this wouldn't even be an issue.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      This has nothing to do with Obamacare.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    This is all getting us more accustomed to the government sticking it's nose into official church business. Look for super wealthy religions led by super wealthy people to have their tax-exempt status challenged in courts worldwide. Non-profit my ass. Look for various governments taking-over church properties. GEt used to the idea of the CIA interviewing your priest after confessional.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Correct everyones money is the same COLOR. The gays, the pedos, the rich, the middle class and poor. The NWO is as I understand made up of about 20 thousand members, just imagine try =ing to support that amount plus their respective families.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    It's high time for the world's governements to start stomping on these religious organizations that have US divided. Abolish organized religion. We hardly use religion in our government anymore...other than swearing on a bible or saying a congressional prayer. Hardly any of our laws are bible based anymore. What do we need organized religions for? Telling kids it's ok to die for God&Country? I don't think they fall for that one anymore. Do they?

    February 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      We die for the guy to our left and right of us ......nothing more nothing less......since you were asking lol

      February 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sue

    Coverage for Viagra OK - Coverage for "the pill" well let me think about that so says our government? Who are they kidding.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BOMBO ©

    I'm confused by pharmaceutical commercials. For a while I though Cialis was to improve your memory and not make you late for stuff like the opera. But now I get it. I still don't know what Champix is for. You sure can't tell by the commercial.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      I thought Cialis was all about couples taking baths in separate claw-tubs in public places.
      Who knew?

      February 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mary

    are you talking about Chantix? If so that's to stop smoking.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BOMBO ©

    Oh. So why does everything move in super slow motion in the commercial with people running into each others arms and hugging? Is that a dramatization of a common side effect?

    February 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      The ones running *away* from that guy is also a side affect, of the four-hour variety.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    Despite the fact that most folks don't like the idea of government having to get into their personal lives, there should be a choice here on this. What's the problem with these insurance companies providing coverage for birth control; nobody says that the insured people have to get on birth control – but It's paid for if you want it! The church doesn't even want their employees (who likely are on the pill anyway) to have it paid for on company insurance. What BS! Choices, people!! If anyone is forcing their agenda on anyone, it's the Catholic church who puts their head in the sand and denies that family planning should be a matter of choice. Birth control in whatever form is a partial solution to all those nasty abortions that we struggle with. So, exempt these folks who are working for the church or whatever, and let everyone get free and equal access to having their family planning paid for. Not everyone can afford or want 7 kids like "Father Rick" and others. Besides, the Catholic church would do better cleaning up their pedo-priests than imposing these archaic, arbitrary rules on their followers. wow, talk about heads in the sand!.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©


      February 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6