Today, President Obama announced a contraception compromise that addresses religious concerns while ensuring women have access to free contraception and preventive care, regardless of where they work. You'll be hearing a lot about the compromise in the days to come, but here's the bottom line: This is good news.
Under the new rules, if a woman works for a religiously affiliated university or hospital that objects to providing contraceptive coverage, it is now the responsibility of her insurance company—not her employer—to provide her free birth control. And the rules for churches remain unchanged: No religious institution will have to provide contraception directly, but female employees will have free access to it if they want it.
Organizations like Catholic Health Services, Catholics United, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL have come out in support of the solution.
Contraception coverage has already been implemented in 28 states—and it's an important public health decision. Doctors prescribe contraception for many reasons, including preventive care: Continued use of birth control reduces the risk of some cancers, serious infections, and cysts. Medical research has confirmed contraceptions' benefits, but its cost often prevents women from using it—particularly those between 18 and 34. But beginning August 1, cost will no longer be a barrier to health. The President's health reform will ensure that contraception is covered with no out-of-pocket cost for all women.
Unlike Republicans like Mitt Romney, Speaker John Boehner, and Sen. Marco Rubio, the President has proved he will find solutions that protect women's right to make decisions about our health. Today's news makes it clear: We have an advocate in President Obama.