Obama’s Compromise Provides Universal Insurance Coverage on Birth Control

Here’s the statement from Planned Parenthood on this policy.

Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on Obama Administration Announcement on Birth Control Coverage Benefit:

“In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work.

“We believe the compliance mechanism does not compromise a woman’s ability to access these critical birth control benefits.

“However we will be vigilant in holding the administration and the institutions accountable for a rigorous, fair and consistent implementation of the policy, which does not compromise the essential principles of access to care.
“The individual rights and liberties of all women and all employees in accessing basic preventive health care is our fundamental concern.

“Planned Parenthood continues to believe that those institutions who serve the broad public, employ the broad public, and receive taxpayer dollars, should be required to follow the same rules as everyone else, including providing birth control coverage and information.

“As a trusted health care provider to one in five women, Planned Parenthood’s priority is increasing access to preventive health care. This birth control coverage benefit does just that.

“The birth control benefit underscores the fact that birth control is basic health care, and is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families.

“That’s why women have consistently applauded the Obama administration for one of the greatest expansions for women’s health in decades.

“Unfortunately there are significant and immediate threats to women’s health and access to birth control in the House and Senate that would completely take away access to birth control and severely undermine women’s health.

“One bill, the Rubio-Manchin bill, would allow any business or corporation, on the basis of personal religious belief or moral conviction, to take away birth control coverage from their employees.

“Employers should not be allowed to impose their personal beliefs on employees regarding birth control coverage or basic health care.

“Another bill, sponsored by Senator Blunt (R-MO), would drastically undermine women’s health and allow any employer or health plan to refuse to cover any health care service they object to on religious or moral grounds.

“That’s why Planned Parenthood, and women across the country, won’t let up for one minute in our fight to protect the birth control benefit and women’s health.

As far as I can tell, this change does several things.  First, coverage  occurs now and the one year adjustment period has ended.  Women in these religiously affiliated institutions will get coverage now instead of a year from now.  The Insurance industry has dropped co-pays and for plans for religious organizations, insurers must contact all their insured and offer contraception with no co-pay.  Second, the outrage at the fetus fetishist sites is on high.  Third, all the major women’s groups and abortion rights groups see this as good.  I’m relieved and I was really seeing RED this morning.

Just because I’ve been on a major roll about the idea of “religious conscientious objections” and SCOTUS, I thought that I’d share this with you in case any complaint reaches SCOTUS.  It’s from TPM and it’s called How Scalia Helped Obama Defend The Birth Control Rule.  This “accommodation” will prevent any litigation from reaching SCOTUS.

The Obama administration is already facing lawsuits challenging its requirement that insurance plans cover birth control as a violation of religious freedom. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has flatly called the regulation unconstitutional. But although it’s unclear how much traction the legal challenges will gain, especially in light of the White House adjusting the mandate Friday, the President and his backers have one unlikely man to thank for helping their cause: Justice Antonin Scalia.

“One thing I think is crystal clear — there is no First Amendment violation by this law,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. “The Supreme Court was very clear in a case called Employment Division v. Smith, written by none other than Antonin Scalia, that religious believers and institutions are not entitled to an exemption from generally applicable laws.”

The Reagan-appointed conservative justice authored the majority opinion in the 1990 decision Employment Division v. Smith, a critical precedent to the birth control case, decreeing that religious liberty is insufficient grounds for being exempt from laws. The Supreme Court said Oregon may deny unemployment benefits to people who were fired for consuming peyote as part of a religious tradition, seeing as the drug was illegal in the state.

“To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself,” wrote Scalia, an avowed Catholic and social conservative, quoting from a century-old Supreme Court decision and giving it new life. His opinion was cosigned by four other justices.

Thanks to this decision more than any other, Winkler said there’s no reason to believe the constitutional argument against the rule has any legs. And while the high court later ruled to create a ministerial exception in anti-discrimination laws (to shield the Church from liability in forbidding women to become priests), it has not altered the Smith precedent insofar as it applies to the birth control rule. “So it would seem extremely difficult” for the courts to overturn it on that basis, Winkler posited. “I don’t think there’s any real argument.”

Also, I woke up outraged and at the moment, after spending the entire morning looking ALL of this over, I’m relieved.  For all the talk of it being an accommodation, it seems to follow court precedent on accommodations but in reality seems to expand and speed up access.   Here’s a link to The Center for Reproductive rights and their press release.

Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“The Obama Administration is as good as its word. Millions of women across the country will have equal access to contraception without co-pay, without fear that their employers may refuse to cover this critical health service.

“Now, the relentless crusade against women’s access to birth control must end. Members of Congress must support full and equal health care for all American women and immediately reject any further efforts to deny coverage of contraception as a critical preventive healthcare service.”

Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently introduced legislation that would prohibit the federal government from mandating that employers cover no-copay birth control in their insurance plans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked an attempt yesterday by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to add an amendment to an unrelated highway bill that would allow exceptions to the coverage if employers were religiously or morally opposed to it.

“We will be watching the implementation of the Administration’s regulation closely to ensure that no woman is denied access to contraceptive coverage by her employer,” Northup said.

65 Comments on “Obama’s Compromise Provides Universal Insurance Coverage on Birth Control”

  1. Woman Voter says:

    I just heard someone from Planned Parenthood say that they ‘hoped’ that the insurance companies would come through. I must object to the term ‘Universal Health Care Coverage’ as one of many objections to the Obama Health Care Reform was that it was a big give away to the insurance companies.:

    1) Mini Health plans (annual coverage for McDonald’s employees is $2,000 a year with no medication coverage)
    2) Some union members have plans that don’t offer medication coverage at all…example is the baggers @ one of the largest food chains.
    3) The bill had too much pork and not enough bite to ensure the care of people.
    4) Catholic Hospitals were already providing said coverage, so now women will go to extra hurdles to receive care. Before, coverage was done by outside hospitals and not by them.
    5) The ‘religious’ minded have no objection on VIAGRA coverage as usual…while making women out to be up to no good.

    Oh, well, guess it won’t matter and people will forget or won’t care while the war on women wages on.

  2. NW Luna says:

    …Feeling less flabberghasted! Not just talk, but action. Obama’s exponentially better in sitting-President campaign mode.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    I just wanted to put my thoughts on this compromise here on this new post…so I am copying some of the things I said on BB’s previous post. I also want to add something else to the argument at the end.

    Obama did handle it badly, but it still bothers me that he is giving the “optics” of caving in to a bunch of religious hypocrites. I just feel that this is going to open the door to any corp or hospital or college to stop paying for coverage they feel is offensive to their personal beliefs.

    If the universities, colleges, hospitals are able to get Government Funding, and are able to make a profit from providing services to people who are not Catholic, or Mormon (think Brigham Young), Presbyterian, etc. Then they should not have the right to treat women any differently than men. This kind of thinking just makes that anti-woman attitude more acceptable.

    What is going to keep other religious affiliated companies from crying religious freedom and cut services they don’t believe in…blood transfusions, and other kinds of surgeries that are considered against their faith. Will this contraception exception spread to other treatments?

    Look, if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, and works for a religious affiliated hospital, she needs to get the pregnancy removed. Her company believes this kind of surgery is an abortion. They will not cover it. Will insurance companies pay for the entire procedure? We are talking big bucks here…not the cost of birth control pills.

    And companies run by ultra religious CEOs, will Dominoes decide to cut insurance coverage for contraception, because it offends the boss? We see this happening with Pharmacist who deny filling prescriptions for emergency contraception. Who are they to decide who gets medical treatment or not…

    I just feel that the appearance of Obama giving in to the Catholics is going to make other religions…and by extension, other cranks, the encouragement to follow in the Bishops footsteps.

    Yes, religious liberty is protected, and a law providing preventative health care will not be affected due to discrimination.

    I get this, I am so happy it came to this…good that no matter what, women will get birth control.

    But …what is going to stop these religious right hypocrites from also not covering surgeries that (in their twisted view) kill a fetus even though it is saving the life of the mother.

    I am glad that the compromise takes religious out of the equation for birth control.

    But it is the other “controversial” health care treatments that I am concerned about. Is it going to stop and just contraception? What about surgeries that the church does not believe in..like in ectopic situations…or if a woman can not have children because of health reasons and she wants her tubes tied? Or men and vasectomies? Where is the line drawn.

    I just see so many ways that this compromise can be manipulated as an “excuse” for not covering a lot of medical treatments that also do not “fit” the religious rights view of sacred law.


    I want to also add one more thing…

    I am glad this compromise “fixes” things, but I still feel slighted. Women’s reproductive healthcare is a right not a privilege.

    Should I feel fortunate and thankful that my husband does not beat the shit out of me?
    No, that is the way it should be…it is a woman’s right to be treated with respect, and to not be physically, sexually or mentally abused by anyone.

    Should I feel fortunate and thankful that Obama has made it possible for women to get affordable or free birth control if their employers will not pay for it?
    No, because it is a woman’s right to have access to medical care, whether or not someone else “believes” in it or not.

    That may be a bit of a strong comparison, but I am trying to prove my point.

    • NW Luna says:

      Agree about the “accommodation” framework of this change having a bad smell, Minx.

      Obama should have stood up and said emphatically that women’s right to medical care are essential.

      Obama’s caved so often that it’s shocking when he doesn’t. I was expecting to find huge gaps in the details of this change. It’s as if he really is now doing the Xth-dimension chess policy all his Obots thought he would.

      Again, Obama’s much better in sitting-president campaign mode. Talk WITH action.

      • dakinikat says:

        I think the “accommodation” framework was to stop potential litigation and as political spin. Again, everything that I have read on law on religious objections suggests that businesses can try this but even Justice Scalia will not let them get away with it.

      • dakinikat says:

        I hate to be the one that argues for an 11th dimensional chess move, but not only was it just political language, it’s made for Scalia and any litigation. Believe me, all this does is free them from co-payments. They still have to pay for the insurance plan. They have to do the coverage now. All insurers have to offer it this way.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I totally share your concerns, MInx. I also think it’s ridiculous that churches are permitted to lobby the president and congress. That should remove their tax exemption right there. But this is the reality we are stuck with at the moment. Now that Obama realizes that protecting women’s reproductive health is a winning issue, maybe we can make more progress on the abortion side of it.

    • peggysue22 says:

      I think the anger is absolutely justified, Minx. We’ve all felt it with the crazy pronouncements of the religious wackos, the opportunist Republicans and the men who want their women barefoot and pregnant [the Rubio/Manchin bill strikes me this way].

      But I agree with Dak that it appears [right now at least] that the compromise will work for the major point of contention: that regardless of where you work, you will have access to contraception without the insurance companies ginning the price up on individual women. That’s important, particularly for low income women, be they young or old. Because the pills are often used for hormone imbalances.

      Do I thank Barack Obama for this? Not on your life. He completely screwed the pooch with healthcare reform, where women were a bargaining chip–to be bargained away. Contraception is a basic health issue for women. And there were plenty of howls and emails and telephone calls reminding the Administration of that simple fact.

      If anything, this whole affair has been a wakeup call. Freedoms gained can easily become freedoms lost. Margaret Sanger knew that and warned women to stay vigilant.

      Obviously the battle ain’t over and the social toads keep popping up, boohooing for the ‘good ole days.’ We have to make sure we keep doing a good job at whack-a-mole, screaming bloody hell when things like this happen and continue to push for equity in the health market and all markets.

      Look forward to your extended post on all this.

    • gxm17 says:

      Obama did handle it badly, but it still bothers me that he is giving the “optics” of caving in to a bunch of religious hypocrites. I just feel that this is going to open the door to any corp or hospital or college to stop paying for coverage they feel is offensive to their personal beliefs.

      Yes! It’s all smoke and mirrors to give us the illusion of compromise. And ultimately let anyone with “religious” objections to birth control know that they are in charge. In the end, it’s a blow to women’s bodily autonomy.

      Great rant, Minx!

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Thanks gxm, I am working on a post now that will be a combination of fact finding and personal opinion…from the heart. 😉

      • dakinikat says:

        I don’t see this as any kind of cave. They have to provide birth control coverage in their insurance. They don’t have to pay co-pays but you can be damn sure that the insurance companies will take it out of their premiums if it costs them anything. If you watch the video, he said the coverage to women was essential and not really negotiable. It’s not even a compromise. It provides an “accommodation” that’s basically a bookkeeping entry that will make it virtually impossible to use it to chip away at Griswold via any constitutional channel. I frankly think he got pissed at all the hooplah and pulled the trigger on something. The Bishops haven’t said they like it. The Plubs are in an uproar. The only folks that seem to think it’s a “compromise” are the stupid press and the stupid democrats that needed some kind of cover–like John Kerry and the rest of the spineless dems. I think it’s funny that the Bishops are now going to have cover it for ALL of their enterprises. They just don’t have to technically pay for it. Some clever women lawyer in HHS undoubtedly spent the time since Stupak working on this The insurance company okay came so quickly that it had to be in the works for some time already. I’m not going to snatch defeat from the jaws of success here no matter how much I think Obama does a half-assed job as president.

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    Sen. Blunt Dismisses Birth Control Compromise As ‘Accounting Gimmick’ | TPM Livewire

    Then the answer to Blunt, no more tax exemptions or gov funding for religious affiliated organizations.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    The Contraception Compromise – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

    Brian Beutler explains the compromise:

    The administration argues further that because contraceptive services prevent the costs of unintended pregnancies, the rule comes with no financial costs to either the insurer or religious employer. A similar rule resulted in no premium increases in the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan, officials noted, and the White House argues this moots the charge that religious money will be indirectly footing the bill for birth control and other contraception.

    Sarah Kliff isn’t completely buying this:

    The catch here is that there’s a difference between “revenue neutral” and “free.” By one report’s measure, it costs about $21.40 to add birth control, IUDs and other contraceptives to an insurance plan. Those costs may be offset by a reduction in pregnancies. But unless drug manufacturers decide to start handing out free contraceptives, the money to buy them will have to come from somewhere.

    Yuval Levin is unsatisfied:

    The only difference is that the access to those contraceptive and abortifacient drugs would not technically be listed as one of the benefits the employer was paying for directly but would be listed as a benefit the insurer was paying for (with the money the employer paid for the broader insurance policy, of course). But employers who offer insurance don’t pay for individual benefits and products when they are provided anyway, they pay for the policy that gives their workers access to those benefits and products when they want them.

    Jonathan Cohn hopes for the best:

    If this system works — a big if, obviously — it would accomplish what’s seemed so elusive in the last few days: Pursuing the public interest in a way that respects religious faith. Note that Planned Parenthood and the Catholic Hospital Association have issued statements supporting this arrangement. In fact, Sister Carol Keehan, president of CHA, said she was “very pleased” by the result. The Conference of Catholic Bishops may not agree. But, as I’ve said before, the Bishops aren’t the only voice of Catholic Americans.

    Jamelle Bouie thinks Obama scored a “political win”:

    The opponents of the rule have begun to overreach at the same time that the administration offered to accomodate their objections. Not only does this make them look unreasonable—to an already unsupportive public—but it undermines their case, which is that this is an attack on religious liberty. If the issue is religious practice, then they should be willing to accept an agreement that preserves their freedom, while providing for women’s health.

    Amanda Marcotte is on the same page:

    Obama needs young female voters to turn out at the polls in November, and hijacking two weeks of the news cycle to send the message that he’s going to get you your birth control for free is a big win for him in that department. I expect to see some ads in the fall showing Romney saying hostile things about contraception and health care reform, with the message that free birth control is going away if he’s elected. It’s all so perfect that I’m inclined to think this was Obama’s plan all along.

    • Allie says:

      “Yuval Levin is unsatisfied:

      The only difference is that the access to those contraceptive and abortifacient drugs would not technically be listed as one of the benefits the employer was paying for directly but would be listed as a benefit the insurer was paying for…”

      That’s a point. The fact the woman is employed by the RC institution gives her access to the policy.

      boo hoo for them

      • dakinikat says:

        If they don’t like it, they can give up offering insurance altogether which means all their little manly man drugs and procedures go unfunded too.

      • peggysue22 says:

        If they don’t like it they can bow out, and then see how many people will take a job without healthcare coverage. One of reasons they’ve offered the benefits at some of the hospitals and universities is to attract people to those institutions. Students and nurses and doctors, etc. can always go elsewhere, where the atmosphere is pro-woman, rather than pro-Dark Ages.

    • On the way home from work today, I was thinking just what Amanda Marcotte said above. I’m thinking someone (Obama, maybe?) in the Administration planned this. Hold out a carrot for the American Taliban prez candidates. Let them chew on it for a few days, get their venom out (the release initially nearly coincided with CPAC. Weirdly coincidental???) and then announce this “compromise.” If only he’d played healthcare the same way – SINGLE PAYER, SINGLE PAYER ONLY – imagine how much better the eventual plan would have been. Go Radical first & then the other side is more likely to compromise.

      • NW Luna says:

        Exactly! Why TF didn’t he do the same thing with Single Payer?

        Then again, he wasn’t in campaign mode then.

  6. Allie says:

    Echidne is awesome today, check it out! One of the posts is about Marco Rubio getting into the contraception controversy – here’s a snippet:

    “Rubio has always been known for his opposition to abortion, but he has started to heighten his involvement in reproductive health politics with a series of new statements. Last week, he told Politico: “I can tell you that none of my children were planned.””

    RFLMAO these guys are just showing their bat-sh*t crazy inner selves to the whole world.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Allie wrote:

      Last week, he told Politico:“I can tell you that none of my children were planned.””

      Wow! What a Badge of Honor! Fool. It’s as if the Republicans are all trying to outdo one another with retrograde BS.

    • NW Luna says:

      Like he had absolutely no idea what might happen after sex with his wife? Yeah, riiiiiiight.

  7. Allie says:

    OK – one more and I’ll stop – I promise!!!

    From Melissa McEwan:

    “This is the kind of coercion we can expect. It’s not about contraception. It’s about government control of our lives and it’s got to stop.”—Republican presidential candidate and EXTREME ANTI-CHOICER Rick Santorum, on the Obama administration’s contraceptive policy, at CPAC today.”

    She follows with her usual wry and very concise comment.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Government control of Santorum’s life? Because he can’t control every woman’s body in America? Tough shit.

    • peggysue22 says:

      I picked up a statement by Santorum about contraception. He’s against it because contraception use invites sexual behavior that is morally incorrect [according to Pope Santorum, I guess]. But didn’t BB read part of his wife’s backstory? Didn’t she live with a man, a physician, far older than herself for quite sometime. Before Santorum entered the picture.

      Maybe ‘that’s’ what Santorum really disapproves of :0).

      • northwestrain says:

        Yep before Santorum — she had a lover — a MD — There’s a long article with quotes from interviews with her ex-lover.

        Short version — she rented an apartment from the friend of a friend — a doc who also delivered her. Not to worry — doc was just there for the delivery and she meets him while she is a nursing student. First night in her apartment she calls doc and says she is scared — he figures it is a come on. She is a fast worker. She broke off the affair because she wanted kids and doc had been there and done that. (Lover and affair does imply that sex was involved. — hey Mr. Santorum wants to get into our business — turn around is fair play.)

        Yes it is an interesting back story– I don’t have a link to the article.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The interesting part is that the doctor lover ran the first abortion clinic in Pittsburgh and the future Mrs. Santorum was all for it.

  8. northwestrain says:

    Among the thousands of VIAGRA etc. email I’ve deleted or that ends up in my spam filter not once has there been offers for birth control pills. Which means that there is a lot of cultural support for that blue pills for male SEX — so W HO are the guys having sex with?????

    I wonder where the emails for the sex dolls went?

    • Allie says:

      The last contraceptive commercial I saw was for some alternative to the pill, can’t remember exactly (I’m way past a need for birth control). The women had on weird yellow bathing suits and were taking dips in a big hot-tub or something. LOL

      That has been a while, but I mostly watch commercial-free TV.

      And I’ve never gotten an email advert for the pill, either.

      • Allie says:

        Oops I mean ad for women’s contraceptive. The Cialis commercials are ubiquitous and quite nauseating.

      • NW Luna says:

        Minx, just responding on the low testosterone. Men or women? Women have normally a low level of testosterone, just as men have low levels of estrogen. The “male” and “female” hormones are in both sexes, in different levels.

        Men can have a rare condition of low testosterone, and the medical treatment for that is usually shots of intramuscular testosterone at weekly or twice-monthly intervals.

        Interestingly, testosterone is a controlled substance. Estrogen is not. Go figure.

    • NW Luna says:

      All those Viagra spam ads are because it’s far more expensive than birth control pills.

      Viagra, 30 tabs for $671.97 per Drugstore.com
      Yasmin brand-name, 28 tabs for $85.99
      Generic oral contraceptives, 28 tabs around $30 or less.

      Contrary to urban myth, health-insurance plans rarely cover Viagra and other phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors aka erectile dysfunction drugs. Not that I think they should be covered, except in cases of neurogenic ED. The usual problem with ED is the guy’s got hypertension, or dyslipidemia, or diabetes, or smokes, or has all of those conditions that affect blood flow to capillaries. So, men, eat right, be active and smoke-free!

    • bostonboomer says:

      The ads on satellite radio are either for viagra, debt solutions, or home loans. I can’t tell you how sick I get of those ads. Luckily I have mute button.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m sure they’re all taking that viagra so they can father more children, because sex that can’t lead to procreation is a sin.

      At least according to Rick the Dick Santorum.

  9. ralphb says:

    Almost at the same time Obama was doing his announcement, I read that WIllard was at CPAC promising to completely defund Planned Parenthood.

    I don’t know if Obama planned this or not but, if he did, it worked beautifully. Republican candidates look like total idiots and as for the USCCB well as the Persian proverb says: “Dogs bark, the caravan passes.”

  10. mjames says:

    Sorry. I don’t get why Obama did good. I see this as a giant loss for women. That Obama would even discuss the matter of denying a woman the right to contraception under an insurance policy is a loss. All he’s done is open the door to more of this claptrap hogwash. And this was all settled a long time ago. Didn’t this grand constitutional scholar ever hear of Equal Protection? Wanna know for sure it’s an election year? Why, it’s Obama the Champion of Women’s Equality. Excuse me while I puke. Don’t fall for it. it’s a garbage ploy to bring us wimmenz back into the Dem fold.

    Don’t want to supply employees with contraceptive coverage? Then pay taxes, you phony non-profits. An independent AG and IRS would already be readying lawsuits to revoke the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status. Fight fire with fire. But it’s a manufactured crisis – just in time for election – to show us who’s our daddy.

    And the women’s organizations are so weak. Applauding his actions? Applauding discussions of my sexual or reproductive needs? Are you kidding me? So desperate to get a seat at the table with the boys? Maybe get a few bucks? Jaysus. And where the hell are the “progressive” blogger boyz on this issue? Do they want women to stop having sex for fun? Yes, it’s true. Shocking, but true. Women have sex for fun. And it’s a hell of a lot more fun without condoms, as we all well know. (I didn’t read the last thread so maybe somebody else has the same response as me, I don’t know. I have to limit how much I can stomach each day.)

    On the other issue of the day, I believe, as I have said before, that, bailing out the banks WITH OUR MONEY, once again, is simply delaying the complete implosion of this country by a couple of years. Had anyone (prosecutor, investor, investigative journalist – ha ha ha ha ha!) pulled at the loose thread of the crooked enterprise called banking, the banks would have completely fallen apart, disintegrated before our very eyes. They would never ever have had enough money to cover their losses. Losses beyond our imaginations. On top of that, all of us would have withdrawn whatever money we have in banks toot de sweet. Complete and utter economic, and, thus total, destruction. That is why the “settlement” had to be done BEFORE the facts were fully known.

    OK, I’m back to lurking.

    • dakinikat says:

      how is universal insurance coverage for birth control a loss for women?

    • dakinikat says:

      It stopped a challenge to Griswold based on “free exercise”. My guess is some smart women lawyer in the HHS Department has been working on this since Stupak. It came together to quickly and too well orchestrated for the political system for it to be all about the res beanie babies. Plus, he made a strong commitment to women’s access to birth control in his presser. This just knocks the wind out of the sails of the ‘free exercise’ arguments that were weak already.

    • ralphb says:

      Then you must be unaware of the current state and haven’t read enough here in the last thread or this one. Have nice evening.

    • northwestrain says:

      What really pisses me of is that what should be PRIVATE — and personal is now just a “campaign issue” — Komen’s got the boobs — some other “charity” has the other female cancers.

      And further if women f*** or NOT — seems to be up for national debate. Just as if it is anyone’s business who gays happen to love.

      When I got married I absolutely refused to get married in a church — or with paperwork from a doctor.

      WHY a woman takes birth control pills or uses whatever else is HER decision — it is not up to debate by throw backs to the dark ages.

      So in a way this whole mess is a loss for women — males are inserting themselves again in women’s personal business. Obama by his ongoing tone deaf stupidity wants to USE women again. Listen sweeties — vote for me and “I’ll protect you helpless females.”

      Obama all by himself is a wrecking crew — we are going backwards — and the dems in Congress are letting it happen because they can’t fight a dem Prez. And 0bowma isn’t a democrat.

      If there is a hell — that’s where the men in red beanies are sure to go.

      What we really need is the ERA — and as long as 0bowma’s political machines is silent on the ERA. NOTHING will change. The dems can use the lady bits in their campaigns.


    • bostonboomer says:

      “That Obama would even discuss the matter of denying a woman the right to contraception under an insurance policy is a loss.”

      When did Obama do that? I’m confused.

    • Adrienne in CA says:

      Thanks, mjames. Thought I was in the twilight zone after reading through the huzzahs about what a great deal this is for women. Separate but equal is UNequal. My rights and humanity are not negotiable.

      • dakinikat says:

        Your rights and humanity may not be negotiable but insurance contracts and their terms are always negotiable. This wasn’t about arguing a civil rights case in front of the supreme court. Besides … If you actually listen to what obama says is that birth control coverage for women is essential and that he had no intention of not seeing that it was provided for … BB and I carefully researched this all day. These really are mischaracterizations. He basically told the bishops he didn’t like their temper tantrums and birth control access was necessary. Continued anger with obama is no reason to not see this for what it is. We now have universal access to birth control in insurance. That is something we have never had before. How again is this bad? They didn’t negotiate anything. They did an end run around the old coots. I can’t believe some people won’t read about what happened instead of creating some imaginary scenario. They didn’t sell women out. They got insurance companies to do what the bishops were trying to not do … For Pete’s sake the bishops released a press release last night complaining about it again as still being horrible because birth control will be covered even though they do not have to do the paperwork or appear to pay for it. This is a huge win. The bishops cannot use this issue to tear down your right via a free exercise challenge to Griswold because this accounting trick provides legal cover. It protects your rights.

        Here’s the Bishops saying the compromise sucks:


        It includes this statement “We just received information about this proposal for the first time this morning; we were not consulted in advance.”

        No one negotiated anything.

  11. KendallJ says:

    Look, today Obama did the right thing for a change. He didn’t throw women under the bus this time. His motive are still questionable, but at they end of the day we got what we needed.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s what I think. I don’t particularly care about a politician’s motives. I already know who and what Obama is. But what’s the point of trashing a ruling that actually will help a lot of women?

  12. Adrienne in CA says:

    And here I thought it was the Catholics insisting on orthodoxy. Congratulations on your research and conclusions. I did the same and hold a different view.