WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Barack Obama considered a decision on birth control policy, he heard it from inside and outside his White House: He risked a fierce backlash if he required religious employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception in violation of their beliefs.
Over the course of months, Catholic groups and officials spoke with White House aides, sent letters and wrote opinion columns. Vice President Joe Biden and other officials spoke of the need to aware of the consequences, given how Catholic groups would view the decision.
On the other side, women’s health advocates and their allies inside the White House were adamant about the importance of making free contraception available to all women.
That’s where Obama came down — before the furor that caused him to backtrack.