Catholic World News

Obama lauds HHS mandate, says religious liberty concerns have been addressed

August 10, 2012

At a campaign appearance at the University of Denver, President Barack Obama lauded mandatory insurance coverage of contraception and asserted that “we worked with the Catholic hospitals and universities to find a solution that protects both religious liberty and a woman’s health.”

“And the direction that you choose -- the direction you choose when you walk into that voting booth three months from now will have a direct impact not just on your lives, but on the lives of your children and the lives of your grandchildren,” he said. “And that’s true for everybody. But it’s especially true for the women in this country, from working moms to college students to seniors … When it comes to a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.”

“The decisions that affect a woman’s health, they’re not up to politicians, they’re not up to insurance companies, they’re up to you,” he continued. “And you deserve a president who will fight to keep it that way.”

The president added:

Last week, insurance companies began covering even more services. And now most health plans are going to begin covering the cost of contraceptive care.

Now, understand this is crucial for women’s health. Doctors prescribe contraception not just for family planning but as a way to reduce the risk of ovarian and other cancers. And it’s good for our health care system in general, because we know the overall cost of care is lower when women have access to contraceptive services.

And listen, we recognize that many people have strongly held religious views on contraception, which is why we made sure churches and other houses of worship, they don’t have to provide it, they don’t have to pay for it. We worked with the Catholic hospitals and universities to find a solution that protects both religious liberty and a woman’s health.

The fact is nearly 99 percent of women have relied on contraception at some point -- and more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it.

“I don’t think a college student in Colorado Springs should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs,” he added, saying that Mitt Romney “said he would have supported an extreme measure in Mississippi that could have outlawed some forms of contraception.”

The president continued:

Then he joined the far right of his party to support a bill that would allow any employer to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees. So it would be up to the employer to decide, your boss telling you what’s best for your health and your safety.

Now, let me tell you something, Denver -- I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care that you get. I don’t think insurance companies should control the care that you get. I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get. I think there's one person to make these decisions on health care, and that is you. You should make that decision.

Mr. Romney is running as the candidate of conservative values. There’s nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions. He says he’s the candidate of freedom. But freedom is the chance, the opportunity to determine for yourself the care that you need, when you need it.


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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: ronaldruais1947 - Aug. 10, 2012 7:37 PM ET USA

    Dr. Why are you publishing this without a rebuttal. This is a lie. there is no current agreement and he has not worked with the bishops or anyone else on the "compromise" n'est pas?

  • Posted by: rpp - Aug. 10, 2012 7:36 PM ET USA

    Only Goebbels could envision such a breathtaking departure from reality and the truth combined with such a convincing delivery. Do we really want to re-elect "Joseph" Obama

  • Posted by: WBSM - Aug. 10, 2012 6:40 PM ET USA

    Fertility is not a disease. Period.

  • Posted by: TheGillerans6870 - Aug. 10, 2012 5:34 PM ET USA

    Let's all forward this to Cardinal Dolan...

  • Posted by: mrschips19308196 - Aug. 10, 2012 4:55 PM ET USA

    May God correct him!!!!And all his ilk.

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Aug. 10, 2012 9:40 AM ET USA

    The President's statements are not accurate.