Catholic Groups, Planned Parenthood Support Obama Contraception Compromise
By Ashley Portero | February 11, 2012 5:04 AM EST
Several organizations have spoken out in support of President Obama's effort to accommodate religious organizations by ensuring they will not have to include contaception coverage in their company health insurance companies.
The Obama administration announced the compromise on Friday morning, following a contentious week where the Catholic Church and conservative Republicans claimed that forcing religious organizations that object to birth control to comply with the mandate -- a provision of the Affordable Care Act -- is a violation of religious liberty.
According to the final rules, which the White House announced would be published in the Federal Register on Friday, women will still have access to birth control and preventative care services no matter where they are employed. The new regulations require health insurers to provide contraception at no cost to women employed at a religiously-affiliated organization that objects to offering that coverage.
Although some opponents of the mandate have gone so far as to demand its repeal altogether, multiple Catholic groups have voiced their support for the compromise offered by the Obama administration.
Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the Catholic Hospital Organization, told The Associated Press that the "framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed."
Meanwhile, the non-profit Catholic United issued a statement of support stating that President Obama "has shown [them] that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic Institutions.
Even Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading reproductive health care advocate, issued a statement saying the revision does not compromise a woman's ability to access critical birth control benefits.
"In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women's health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work," said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
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