Christian and pro-family groups are blasting President Obama’s “compromise” on his contraception mandate for religious groups as a meaningless distinction without a difference. On February 10, the White House announced that under a revision to the objectionable decree, religious institutions would not be required to offer free contraceptives to women employees as previously mandated. Instead, the requirement would be totally shifted to their insurance providers.
In what critics are calling a particularly transparent example of Orwellian double-speak, the White House explained that under the revised policy, women will still have “free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works.” Nonetheless, the policy “also ensures that if a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage.” Instead, “her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.”
Assured the White House of the supposed revision: “The new policy ensures that women can get contraception without paying a co-pay and fully accommodates important concerns raised by religious groups by ensuring that objecting non-profit religious employers will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer women to organizations that provide contraception.”
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Photo: President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius leave the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Feb. 10, 2012, after the president announced a supposed "compromise" regarding his contraception policy requiring religious institutions to fully pay for birth control: AP Images