On Monday’s show, Alex Wagner and the NOW panel discussed the new rules proposed by the Obama administration governing the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act and the resulting outrage in some conservative circles. The White House’s proposal aims to strike a compromise where religiously affiliated non-profit institutions with objections would be able to opt out of providing contraception directly to employees, while those same employees would be able to retain access to free contraception coverage through their insurer.
The panel discussed recent comments by James Towey, the president of Florida’s Ave Maria University–one of the institutions challenging the mandate in court–in which he said the administration had “obviously established a new federal entitlement, something like contraception stamps.” Towey and others believe the new rules don’t go far enough because they only apply to houses of worship and non-profit religious institutions. Private businesses owners, they argue, should also be able to opt out if the coverage goes against their beliefs even if the business is secular in nature.
“We’re seeing the last dying gasps of a political constituency who think they can exert more power than their constituency will support, NARAL Pro-Choice President Ilyse Hogue said. “They actually just don’t want women to have that fundamental freedom to choose when, with who and how we have families which we know is key to women being able to live empowered lives.”