Obama Backs Off Birth Control Battle?

Americans divided over whether religious organizations should provide coverage.
3:14 | 02/10/12

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Transcript for Obama Backs Off Birth Control Battle?
That battle over birth control reaching a flashpoint today to president shifting course is the White House tries to calm the backlash. From the Catholic church and from some Americans who say he went too far. The president has said employers including religious organizations should provide women who work for them -- insurance that covers birth control. Those workers everyone from teachers to office workers to the nurses in their hospitals. Well tonight the president is trying to take the church out of the mix as we look at the numbers here 84% of Americans polled including Catholics support birth control. But -- asked employers including the church should be forced to provide it. 49% saying yes 46% saying no huge debate. Jake Tapper was at the White House today's the president tried to calm the storm Jake. David President Obama said that his administration that really originally wanted to take about the next year. And -- half to hammer out some sort of accommodation for these religious groups but after the uproar he realized they did not have that much time an uproar he said. That was born from both genuine concern. And cynical politics. After two weeks of political -- -- the president took a step back today from his new rule and announced what the White House called an accommodation. We've been mindful that there is another principle at stake here and that's the principle of religious liberty. As a citizen and as a Christian. I cherish this right. The White House seemed taken aback by the firestorm ignited by its new -- Under it health insurance policies provided by most employers had a fully cover birth control. That included religious charities and schools despite their theological objections to it. Passions on both sides as seen at that Catholic university in Washington DC. I think that every pro active. Health care -- it's it's necessary and mean and it's it's a human rights for women to be able how fat I don't know. Of another case in American bar where. The religious institution or religious individual. Has been forced to pay for an activity that he or she views as sinful. It seemed an unbridgeable. Chasm. One the president attempted to solve this way today. The new role health insurance policies of nonprofit religious organizations do not need to include birth control in their coverage. But the government is mandating that the insurance companies offer their services without charge to the women who want them. Religious liberty will be protected. And a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women. Both the Catholic health association and abortion rights groups approved. And the group leading the charge against the role Catholic -- called the announcement first step in the right direction. But some religious groups remain unhappy calling the announcement an accounting gimmick. Religious groups are still forced to buy insurance. And the insurance companies that they pay are forced to give contraception to their employees so there's still forced to violate their religious beliefs. Also left with some concerns David the group. That has to pay the tab the health insurance industry they say. That it's actually cheaper in the long run to pay for birth control because pregnancies are so expensive but there are serious questions about where that initial short term funding. Will come from.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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