Dust-Up Continues Over Obama Administration’s Contraception Rule
Although administration officials defend the rule and some political strategists see limited political damage, the Catholic Church continues a counterattack.
Los Angeles Times: Birth-Control Fight Unlikely To Hurt Obama, His Strategists Say
Even as angry Catholic leaders vow to fight a new federal requirement that most employers include contraceptives in their health insurance coverage, the Obama administration believes any political damage will be limited because it's on the side of women's rights (Hennessey and Parsons, 2/6).
Politico: Kathleen Sebelius Defends Contraception Rule
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued Monday that a new rule which requires many religious employers to cover birth control in employee health plans respects those with "deeply held beliefs opposing the use of birth control" (Mak, 2/6).
Los Angeles Times: Catholics Plan Counterattack On New Contraception Coverage
The Catholic Church reacted strongly Friday to a White House defense of new rules that will force many religious employers to provide contraception to their workers in government-mandated health insurance plans (Landsberg, 2/4).
Reuters: Catholics Urged To Write Congress On Birth Control Rule
American Catholic clergy called on the faithful to write Congress to protest new birth control rules from President Barack Obama's administration, stepping up a campaign that began a week ago with denunciations from the pulpit at Masses across the country. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, posted an "Urgent Action Alert" over the weekend calling on Catholics to write to their U.S. lawmakers protesting the rule (McCune, 2/5).
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Chaput Censures Contraceptive Plan
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is demanding that the Obama administration rescind what he calls its "flawed and dangerous" decision requiring virtually all employers to offer employees health coverage that includes contraceptives and "abortion-inducing drugs." In a letter asked to be read at all weekend Masses in 266 area parishes, Chaput joined many other bishops nationally in criticizing the administration for undermining "both the principle of religious conscience and the First Amendment to the Constitution in an unprecedented way" (Loyd, 2/6).
McClatchy: Florida's Rubio Pushes Back At Contraception Rules Under Health Care Law
Sitting in his pew at St. Louis Catholic Church in Miami one recent Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio heard the same homily as other parishioners who were urged by church leaders nationwide to contact Congress about the use of contraceptives. Uniquely positioned to act, the Florida Republican senator last week filed legislation that would repeal the part of the federal health care law that requires some religious institutions to offer contraceptives and family planning services without a co-payment in their health insurance coverage (Bolstad, 2/5).
The Hill: Gov. O'Malley: 'Too Much Hyperventilating' Over Birth Control Order
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) pushed back against conservative criticism of new White House rules which would require religious organizations to provide insurance coverage for birth control, calling the attacks "too much hyperventilating." "This is not about abortion," said O'Malley during an interview on CNN's State of the Union Sunday. "It's about covering contraception as part of the healthcare coverage, mandatory basic coverage" (Mali, 2/5).
In related news -
NPR: The 'Morning After' Pill: How It Works And Who Uses It
Access to emergency contraception has swirled at the center of a recent flurry of debate over insurance coverage. It's a pill women can take if their birth control fails or they forget to use it (Neighmond, 2/6).