Obama official: All women will have ‘free contraceptive services’

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, February 10, 2012 10:51 EDT
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A pro-contraceptive protester holds up a sign in Washington, D.C. Photo: Flickr user WeNews.
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Speaking on background Friday morning, a senior administration official told Raw Story that despite the planned “accommodation” for religious groups pushing back against universal contraceptive coverage, “All women will still have access to free preventative care, no matter where they work.”

The “accommodation” being made will remove the burden of paying for contraceptives from religious employers, placing it entirely on health insurers instead.

“Women who work at these institutions are going to have access to these free contraceptive services, that’s guaranteed,” the official said.

The Catholic Church, which considers use of contraceptives a sin, had been pushing back against the new rule, calling it an attack on their religious liberty.

The Obama administration had initially given Catholic non-profits a one-year grace period to implement the rule, whereas all other private health insurance plans will begin offering free contraception by August 1.

An exemption for religious non-profits that hire exclusively within their faith remains in the rule, officials said. Religious groups that receive an exemption must also provide their employees with information on how to obtain contraceptive coverage.

“This is a very common sense solution that holds to core principles the administration holds dear,” another official concluded.

Photo: Flickr user WeNews.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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