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Sens. Tom Coburn, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma back bill to reverse policy on contraception coverage

As the controversy continues over Obama administration's policy affecting health plans offered by religious institutions, a top campaign aide to the president suggest a compromise may be offered.
BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: February 8, 2012
/articleid/3647031/1/pictures/1633392">Photo - U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn <strong>PAUL HELLSTERN</strong>

Catholic leaders have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the policy. Officials with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the mandate would force coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

Leaders said, “Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate.”

But Planned Parenthood pointed to new polls by Public Policy Polling and the Public Religion Research Institute that showed a majority of Catholic voters and Catholics in general support the administration's policy.

Comments Tuesday from David Axelrod, a top official with President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, suggested the administration may look for a compromise.

Appearing on MSNBC, Axelrod said, “We certainly don't want to abridge anyone's religious freedoms, so we're going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventive care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the administration had clearly stated that it would be working with the organizations and individuals who would be affected by the rule.

Carney said Obama “is very interested in finding the appropriate balance between religious beliefs and convictions — and he takes those very seriously — and his commitment to making sure that women of all faiths have access to these important health care preventive services. So that process will continue.”


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