White House Decision Puts Women’s Health over PoliticsFebruary 10, 2012
This afternoon, the Obama administration decided to exempt religious employers from covering birth control for employees, but the new rules will require insurance companies to provide free contraception.
The president’s decision is the perfect foil to the political games we’ve seen this past month, and it’s a relief to see women’s health prioritized over politics. People are going to see real benefits from this decision, which will likely lead to fewer unintended pregnancies, fewer abortions, and a better quality of life for women. Unlike the recent congressional bills around the issue of birth control, this decision is not a compromise on women’s health. Instead, it is an accommodation for people who are truly concerned about religious liberty.
The details of the decision will need to be worked out in the next year. But what is clear is that all insured women will be able to access birth control — without a co-pay — regardless of where they work or learn. Furthermore, important religious liberties continue to be appropriately respected and reflected in the policy. AAUW applauds both outcomes.