The Contraception Rule
Last month, President Obama announced that all employers must pay for contraception in their health plans, and that it must be free of charge. No co-pays. No deductibles. Catholic churches were exempt, but since Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities serve so many who aren't Catholic, the president said those institutions had to comply. The immediate fallout came from the Catholic Church, which argued this violates religious freedoms. Conservatives also pounced on the president. Feminist activists argued the uproar was a direct assault on women’s health rights.
With the nation’s feathers sufficiently ruffled, President Obama has tried to smooth things out, making an accommodation that gets employers with religious objections off the hook. This hour, we look at what this mandate means for the Presidential election, religious liberties, and women’s rights.
Michele Dillon: professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire
E.J. Graff: daily columnist and contributing editor at the American Prospect, resident scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center
Erin O'Brien: associate professor of political science at UMass Boston