Some Democrats break from Obama on new contraception policy, as GOP vows to reverse it

February 9, 2012


Some members of President Obama’s own party are voicing opposition to his administration’s controversial rule that religious schools and hospitals must provide contraceptive coverage for their employees.

As Democratic women lawmakers put up a united front in defending the administration, other Democrats are split over the new birth control policy, which has been condemned by Republicans as an “unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who faces re-election in November, sent a letter to Obama complaining that the mandate is a “direct affront to religious freedoms.”

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., said in January that the decision “violates the long-standing tradition of protection for conscience rights in federal law.”

Tim Kaine, a Catholic seeking the Senate seat in Virginia, said he supports contraceptive coverage but thinks there should be a broader exemption for religious organizations.

Others have voiced strong support for the policy.

“Women’s health care should not depend on who the boss is,” said Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

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