As Administration Explains Birth Control Rule, GOP Leaders Join In Criticism
House Speaker John Boehner, R- Ohio, called the birth control order unconstitutional while a senior White House official acknowledged during a conference call with reporters that there has been "a fair amount of interest and some confusion" about the policy.
The Associated Press: Boehner: Feds Should Back Off Birth Control Order
The Obama administration scrambled Thursday to contain a growing election-year outcry over its decision that church-affiliated employers must cover birth control regardless of their religious principles. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, called the requirement unconstitutional while White House spokesman Jay Carney said it is part of a reasoned policy to promote women's health and does not encourage abortion (Alonso-Zaldivar, 2/2).
CQ HealthBeat: White House Explains Contraceptive Rule As Criticism Continues
White House officials Thursday defended their decision to require hospitals and colleges with religious affiliations to provide free contraceptive care to employees. Earlier in the day, House Speaker John A. Boehner called the regulation unconstitutional. A senior Obama administration official in a conference call with reporters said there has been "a fair amount of interest and some confusion" following the Jan. 20 announcement, which has drawn outrage among leaders of the Catholic Church. The call was not intended to break any new ground on policy, officials said, but rather to further explain the decision. But it also demonstrated that the hubbub clearly is being heard (Norman, 2/2).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: White House, Religious Groups In Fight Over Doctrine, Religious Freedom And Contraception
The Obama administration's decision requiring church-affiliated employers to cover birth control was bound to cause an uproar among Roman Catholics and members of other faiths, no matter their beliefs on contraception. The regulation, finalized a week ago, raises a complex and sensitive legal question: Which institutions qualify as religious and can be exempt from the mandate? (2/3).
CNN: Contraceptive Coverage Controversy
The White House is pushing back on criticism of its decision requiring church-affiliated employers to provide no-cost contraceptive coverage including birth control as part of their health care plans. "This decision was made after very careful consideration of the legal and policy points and we believe it strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and approving access to services," a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call Thursday afternoon. That was a direct response to comments made by House Speaker John Boehner, who insisted the provision in the new health care law "violates our Constitution" (Lothian, 2/2).