President Obama Finally Does the Right Thing for Women
President Obama listened to all of the women and men who called, e-mailed and wrote to the White House to express their support for family planning decisions staying in the hands of women. In so doing, he remained true to the original vision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and refused to bend the knee to intense lobbying from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic healthcare industry and other special interests who wanted him to expand a refusal clause that would have denied millions of women access to affordable family planning.
The president of Catholics for Choice, Jon O’Brien, said, “The bishops pulled out all the stops in their campaign against women’s access to contraception. The Obama administration stood with those who support religious liberty and believe in giving women the freedom of conscience to make their own reproductive health decisions.
“While the refusal clause that is contained in the legislation is still too expansive, denying many women, as it does, affordable access to contraception, we are relieved by this announcement. Catholics for Choice and our colleagues in the reproductive rights movement expended a huge amount of energy and resources mobilizing the public to take action on this pivotal issue. In the final analysis, this was a victory for common sense and scientific advice in the interests of the common good.
“The battle over this issue is a warning about what is to come, especially as the bishops are playing the victim card in their pleas for special treatment and their false assertions about alleged attacks on religious freedom. The president and Congress will need to get real about what is going on, and remember that this coming November the electorate will not be listening to the bishops, so neither should they.”