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Obama revamping birth control policy

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published February 10, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. Updated February 10, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.


President Barack Obama, sitting next to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaks Tuesday during a Cabinet meeting in the White House in Washington.

— President Barack Obama said Friday that a revamped birth control policy will both protect religious liberties and protect women’s access to contraception.

Speaking at the White House, Obama announced changes to the policy that has generated criticism from religious groups and others who say it would force them to violate their faith.

Under the changes, religious employers will not have to cover birth control for their employees. Instead, the government will demand that insurance companies be directly responsible for providing free contraception.

Obama’s shift is an attempt to satisfy both sides of a deeply sensitive debate. Women will still get guaranteed access to birth control without co-pays or premiums no matter where they work, a provision of Obama’s health-care law that he insisted must remain. But religious universities and hospitals that see contraception as an unconscionable violation of their faith can refuse to cover it, and insurance companies will then have to step in to do so.

The leader of a Catholic organization and a prominent women’s group both expressed initial support for the changes.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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NONSHEEPLE says... February 10, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.

"Instead, insurance companies will be directly responsible for providing free contraception"

So how is this actually different? Will the employee get this medicine covered or not?

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SoonerHawg says... February 10, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.

@STM - sure, but now that cost will be spread out across the board and we will ALL have to pay for it. Expect another insurance price hike in 2013.....the 45% increase I have gotten over the last two years, just is not enough for the insurance companies.

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Straytrooper says... February 10, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.

Guy reminds me of Fonzie....he can never say he was wr.....wrrr.....

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T6 says... February 10, 2012 at 12:44 p.m.

Votes!, Now Obama can say it wasn't him, don't hold him responsible, blame the insurance companies he mandated to cover this.

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RonalFos says... February 10, 2012 at 4:28 p.m.

Sounds like a reasonable solution. Women get the healthcare they need and the Pope can say he didn't pay for it. It's called plausible deniability.

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T6 says... February 10, 2012 at 4:40 p.m.

Goes right along with the rest of Obama's bamboozling.

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ArkansasTraveler31 says... February 10, 2012 at 4:59 p.m.

Nearly everyone who comments on here talk about the inability of our
politicians to compromise and now when the President does he gets
slammed for it. That is how things work---you find a middle ground that
both sides can live with---those who want to protect every woman's right
to receive birth control protection if wanted and the Catholic Church
and others who someone see this as a sin and wrong. It beats what usually
happens in Washington when they go to the very brink of shutting down the
government and they still do little or nothing.

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T6 says... February 10, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.

ArkT..... Seriously are you that stupid or blind or BOTH? How exactly did he compromise?

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NickieD says... February 10, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.

It is like having a car with the steering wheel on the right side instead of the left. Same car, same ride to town.
If it makes Religionists happy, it only proves the Religionists and GOP had nothing important to say about the issue in the first place.
All Religionists want is to control a woman's body, since most of them are basically afraid of women, they must control them. This idea is supported by the attitudes expressed in the Old Test by a bunch of old guys who were afraid of treating women as equals and their attutide has carried through right up to today in the form of guys like Ol' Brown Foam and his truly biblical attitude about birth control, abortion and women in general.
The president has simply stated the very same idea he had before differently and the idiots ate it up.
Equality under the law... something for all Americans.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 10, 2012 at 6:35 p.m.

"President Barack Obama says he will bypass religious groups’ opposition to a health insurance mandate by directing insurance companies to hand out free birth control services to employees of religious institutions.

“Religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly… but women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women,” Obama said in a brief Friday statement at the White House.

After his statement, Obama walked out of the press room without taking any questions from reporters.

Obama’s maneuver, however, preserves the federal intrusion into religious groups’ operations, and will likely be widely panned by civil liberties advocates.

Already, many religious groups, including evangelical and Catholic groups, say they will resist the federal mandate because it is an imposition by progressives of state power on churches’ activities.

Obama recognized this church-state argument Friday, saying that his transfer of the mandate from churches to insurance companies will preserve religious liberty."

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