In the News 2012

Obama Ruling on Access to Birth Control Provokes Attack from GOP and Religious Right


In late January, the Obama administration issued a ruling that religious institutions serving the public, such as schools and hospitals, must provide their employees with access to birth control through employee health plans with no deductibles or co-pays, as part of the president’s Affordable Care Act health reform law. However, the ruling provides an exemption for employees of churches and other houses of worship, and allows these institutions an extra year to comply.

But Republicans – and especially Republican presidential candidates – have attacked this regulation to score political points against President Obama and the Democrats. Each candidate is trying to outdo the others in condemning the provision as an assault on freedom of religion. Along with their calls to end virtually all abortions, most of this year’s GOP presidential candidates want to prevent women from accessing effective forms of birth control.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Meghan Smith, domestic program associate at Catholics for Choice, which works in the U.S. and abroad to secure the right to legal abortion and maintain and expand access to birth control. She explains that Catholic women already use birth control as much as non-Catholics, and that, in her view, this new government mandate is not an attack on religious freedom.

Read the rest of the transcript and listen to the broadcast here.

This was orginally published on Between The Lines.

Catholics for Choice