Catholic group backs Obama birth control policy

Obama

(AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senior administration officials tell The Associated Press that President Barack Obama on Friday will announce that religious employers will not have to cover birth control for their employees after all. He will demand instead that insurance companies will be the ones ultimately responsible for providing free contraception.

Obama's abrupt retreat is an attempt to address concerns from Catholic leaders and end an election-year nightmare for the White House.

Women will still get guaranteed access to birth control without co-pays or premiums no matter where they work.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House has support from a key Catholic health group on its compromise birth control policy.

Sister Carol Keehan heads the Catholic Health Organization. She says the compromise "has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed."

But religious organizations that see contraception as a violation of their faith can refuse to cover it, and insurance companies will then have to do so.

Keehan says the resolution "protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions."

And Planned Parenthood Federation of America says the approach "does not compromise a woman's ability to access these critical birth control benefits."

Senior administration officials confirmed details to the AP on condition of anonymity ahead of an announcement by Obama.


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