A top adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign suggested on Tuesday that the administration was open to working with Catholic hospitals and universities over their objections to providing birth control services to women.
“I’m less concerned about the messaging of this than to find a resolution that makes sense,” David Axelrod said on MSNBC.
“I heard earlier Joe [Scarborough] say, ‘Well, there may be compromises that can be reached.’ We have great respect for the work that these religious institutions do. … We certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedoms, so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions,” he explained.
“The president and the administration [will] move forward, but with a grace period or time period in order to work this thing through,” Axelrod added. “We want to resolve it in an appropriate way.”
The Obama administration announced last month it would stand by a policy that requires virtually all private insurance policies to cover family planning, including female contraceptives, essentially guaranteeing near universal access to birth control once all the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented.
Last week, thousands of Catholic parishioners were read letters by Catholic Bishops in the U.S. that condemned the Obama administration for that decision.
“We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted wrote in just one of the numerous letters. “People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Feb. 7, 2012.
— With earlier reporting by Stephen C. Webster