Catholics, Christian Conservatives and Contraception
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Catholics, Christian Conservatives and Contraception

President Obama said today all women employees must have health insurance that provides free contraception, but that institutions objecting on religious grounds won't have to pay for it. Will that satisfy Catholic bishops, conservative Christians or Republicans who see a hot-button political issue? Also, Santorum and Romney fight for conservative support at CPAC, and a move toward women's equality in the armed forces.

Banner image: Prescription contraceptives for women sit on the counter of a drug store in Los Angeles, California. Photo Illustration by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Making News

Santorum and Romney Fight for Conservative Support at CPAC ()

Two Republican presidential candidates addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington today. First Rick Santorum, who wants this week's wins in three states to make him the alternative to Mitt Romney, addressed the conference. Later Romney addressed CPAC. Ken Vogel is chief investigative reporter for Politico.

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Main Topic

Contraception, Religion and Presidential Politics ()

President Obama said today he won't back down on the new rule that insurance plans – even at religious institutions -- provide free contraceptives to all women employees for family planning, prevention of cancer and other medical needs. But he recognized the objections of religious institutions and offered this olive branch, saying that those institutions won't have to pay. Will that satisfy Catholic Bishops, Christian conservatives or his Republican opposition? We hear the details of today's compromise and hear why contraception is needed for medical reasons beyond family planning. Why hasn't there been an outcry against states with similar and even tougher requirements?  Is it about politics as well as religion?

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Reporter's Notebook

Pentagon Opens More Military Jobs for Women ()

In the 1970's women service members were not allowed to serve at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, because it was "too cold." Times have changed. Yesterday, on orders from Congress to review gender assignments, the Pentagon opened some 14,000 combat-related positions to women. But 238,000 — one-fifth of all jobs for the active military — are still limited to men only. Nancy Duff Campbell is co-President of the National Women's Law Center.

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