Obama and his Contraceptive Decision
President Barack Obama sided with a group that’s made mostly of female advisers who asked him not to limit the health-care law provision to provide contraceptives, even if the move would alienate the Catholic voters in November. One of those advisers is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a two-term governor of Kansas.
They said that majority of women would not have coverage if the mandate is taken out. This would disenfranchise women’s rights advocates. Vice President Joe Biden and White house chief of staff Bill Daley, both Catholics, said that the mandate would be viewed as an intrusion by the government into religious institutions.
Obama’s decision was announced last January 20 and it became one of the topics in the presidential campaign. Republican hopefuls accuse the president of stepping on religious freedom. Catholic bishops have voiced their opposition to the mandate.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said that President Obama has started a war on religion when the administration requires Catholic schools and hospitals to provide free contraceptives to their employees even though it violates their religious conscience. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Obama understands the concerns from religious organizations and the administration would try to find ways to resolve them when the policy is implemented.