Obama offers birth control compromise to religious groups


Demonstrators protest during a "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rally in New York on March 23, 2012, on the second anniversary of US President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act.



The White House today offered another compromise that President Obama hopes satisfies religious groups while still giving women access to birth control.

Through the change, non-profit, faith-based employers such as universities or hospitals no longer have to pay for contraception through health plans.

Instead, health insurers would pay the bill, CBS News reported.

“We had to ensure that women have access to preventive services like contraception and that the policy respects religious beliefs,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said, according to CBS News.

When introduced, the Affordable Care Act spawned lawsuits from religious groups that said Obama was forcing them to contravene their beliefs by paying for their employees’ contraception.

Today’s change appears to have settled at least some concerns, Reuters reported.

“This is a victory not only for the Obama Administration, but for the Catholic Church,” Catholics United director James Salt told Reuters.

The National Partnership for Women and Families also lauded the plan, The Los Angeles Times said.

“We applaud the Obama administration’s unwavering support for implementing the Affordable Care Act in ways that will ensure women have access to basic preventive care, including contraception,” president Debra L. Ness told the LA Times.

“That is a fundamental promise of reform, and a critical advance for women’s health.”

The compromise doesn’t, however, address issues raised by other groups opposed to the act.

Some for-profit companies have launched their own lawsuits, the LA Times said.

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