After a long week of controversy, Barack Obama and his White House appear ready to cave in to the Catholic Church over the contraceptive rule from the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary of DHHS, Kathleen Sebelius, began this fire storm which would have required all employers, including those of non-profit religious organizations, to include coverage for contraceptives for women under their health insurance policies. This aspect of Obama-Care would require such compliance by August of 2013. The Roman Catholic Church, as well as other religious faiths, immediately balked at this requirement for theological reasons. Sympathetic politicians to their cause said the Obama administration had crossed a line on the First Amendment which protects religious freedom.

barack obama contraceptive

To the Obama administration, the issue was one of women′s health. Many states have similar laws concerning minimal health insurance coverage that includes providing access to contraceptives for women that requires a doctor′s prescription. Some of these states, such as Hawaii, provide an ′out′ for religious institutions by allowing a third-party to provide the birth control coverage in cases where such goes against the religion′s doctrines.

Many political pundits wonder why Barack Obama went along with the DHHS ruling given that this is an election year. Some 25% of all voters nationwide are Catholics, a group which usually determines a president being elected. In 2008, Obama won about 53% of the Catholic vote. While most Catholic women do use birth control at some time in their life, about 60% of all Catholics are opposed to a government mandate requiring insurance coverage for contraceptives.

The fire storm over this issue has been a major boon to Republican presidential candidates. Some may even attribute the sweep of three states on Tuesday by Rick Santorum due to the backlash over the Obama administration decision. In an election year that was supposed to be mainly about economic issues, the DHHS rule raised the constant importance of such social issues, as well as the authority of the government in general.

In the last 48 hours, a growing number of Democrats, particularly those facing difficult reelections, have taken a public stand against the White House on this issue. Yesterday the story was leaked that even Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff William Daley advised Obama not to approve the DHHS ruling which had begun to be considered late last summer. House Speaker John Boehner then threatened a House bill that would override the DHHS decision and it became clear that enough Democrats in the Senate would support the GOP bill.

So now Barack Obama will cave in today on the contraceptive issue. The Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups have succeeded in stopping the requirement by the Department of Health and Human Services that all employers provide birth control coverage under the Obama-Care health insurance law by August of 2013. After a week of bad press, Obama has been spanked by the American people for daring to step on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects religious freedom.