President Obama held a press conference to discuss the compromise over the mandate to offer free birth control through religious organizations' insurance plans, which sparked the ire of Catholic leaders. Obama said, "After many genuine concerns were raised over the last few weeks — and the more cynical desire to make this into political football — it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was not an option; we had to move this faster...I’ve been confident from the start we could work out a sensible approach here. Some folks in Washington may want to treat this as another political wedge issue, but it shouldn’t be. I never saw it that way. It’s people with goodwill on both sides of the debate sorting through a complicated issue to find a solution that works for everyone. Today’s announcement has done that." Also, he reminded everyone he's a "citizen and a Christian."
The President explained the plan, "Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services — no matter where they work. So that core principle remains. But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company — not the hospital, not the charity — will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles. "
The White House's press release emphasizes, "Covering contraception is cost neutral for insurance companies since it saves money by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services. The President said that nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives, but more than half of women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it." The Washington Post says that the White House contact Archbishop Dolan, "Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic health group and a key White House ally in Obama’s health-care overhaul, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to explain the new rules. The officials declined to elaborate on the nature of the conversations."
Obama also said, "Whether you’re a teacher, or a small businesswoman, or a nurse, or a janitor, no woman’s health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes. Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health. Period."