Bishops Plan United Front Campaign Against Contraception Rule
While most of the public favors the Obama administration's contraception compromise, the Catholic bishops will launch TV and radio ads against the mandate.
The New York Times: Obama Shift On Providing Contraception Splits Critics
The near-unified front led by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops to oppose a mandate for employers to cover birth control has now crumbled amid the compromise plan that the Obama administration offered last week to accommodate religious institutions. The leaders of several large Catholic organizations that work directly on poverty, health care and education have welcomed the president’s plan as a workable compromise that has the potential to protect religious freedom while allowing employees who request it to have contraceptives covered by their insurance plans (Goodstein, 2/14).
Reuters: Bishops Plan Aggressive Expansion Of Birth-Control Battle
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to work with other religious groups, including evangelical Christians, on an election-year public relations campaign that may include TV and radio ads, social media marketing and a push for pastors and priests to raise the subject from the pulpit (Simon, 2/14).
The New York Times: Support Is Found For Birth Control Coverage And Gay Unions
Despite the deep divide between some religious leaders and government officials over contraceptives, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found most voters support the new federal directive ... 65 percent of voters in the poll said they supported the Obama administration’s requirement that health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control, and 59 percent, said the health insurance plans of religiously affiliated employers should cover the cost of birth control (Connelly, 2/14).
Bloomberg: Obama Allies Seek To Reframe Birth-Control Debate For Voters
The debate ... is likely to persist, with the two sides struggling to frame the issue as either one over access to birth control or of religious freedom. …Whoever is more successful at defining the dispute is likely to prevail with the electorate on the policy, pollsters and political strategists say. ... [Terry Madonna, a political science professor and director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll said that] access to contraception and equal treatment of women in workplace-benefit plans both resonate with college-educated women (Talev and Dorning, 2/14).
The Associated Press: U.S. Bishops Fight Birth Control Deal
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he trusted Obama wasn't anti-religious and intended to make good on his pledge to work with religious groups to fine-tune the mandate. ... Separately, he said, the bishops will back court challenges to the mandate being undertaken by others. He said he didn't think the USCCB itself, however, would sue the government over the issue (Winfield, 2/14).
Denver Post: Denver Catholics Reject Obama Contraception Compromise
Denver Catholic Charities said today it is united with Archdiocese of Denver Bishop James Conley and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in opposing the Obama administration's compromise on universal coverage of contraception (Draper, 2/14).
CBS: Axelrod: Obama Birth Control Fight Was Unwanted
A top campaign adviser to President Obama said Wednesday the recent announcement and subsequent backtracking on forcing religiously-affiliated institutions to provide birth control to employees for free was not designed to pick a fight with social conservatives. "We were not looking to create divisions. We were looking to advance the cause of women's health and I think we have done that and we have done it in the appropriate way," David Axelrod said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" (2/15).
Denver Post: A Q&A With Diana DeGette About Obama's Contraception Controversy
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and co-chair of the pro choice caucus has been outspoken in support of the measure. The Denver Post chatted with her for a few minutes about what she thinks of Obama's decision, which some are billing as a "scale back" (Sherry, 2/14).
NPR: Does Contraception Really Pay For Itself?
The Obama administration claims health insurance companies won't have a problem providing free contraceptive coverage for women who work at religious groups. Officials say that's because it is much cheaper for the industry when pregnancies are planned (Zarroli, 2/15).