Nominees back access to contraceptives, but differ on how to provide it
Published: October 17, 2012
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CNS) -- Both President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney backed women's access to contraceptives during the Oct. 16 town hall debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead. But the two presidential nominees differed on how to provide such access. "In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who's insured, because this is not just a health issue, it's an economic issue for women," said Obama, a Democrat. Romney, a Republican, said: "I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives." The remarks came in response to a question posed by an undecided voter on how to address inequalities for women she sees in the workplace. Obama was referring to the health care reform law, which requires all employers, including most religious employers, to cover the costs of contraceptives, including some that can cause abortions, and sterilizations in employee health plans. The mandate does not include a conscience clause for employers who object to such coverage on moral grounds. A narrow exemption applies only to those religious institutions that seek to inculcate their religious values and primarily employ and serve people of their own faith.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .