W.H. official: Contraceptive rule stands

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012.
CBS/Chris Usher

President Obama's top aide addressed the latest controversy over contraception coverage, saying on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the latest iteration of the new rule, which was announced Friday, will go forward.

"We're going to go ahead and implement it," White House Chief of Staff Jack Law said.

After being pressed by host Bob Schieffer about the White House's latest change to its contraception coverage policy and the push-back the administration is receiving from the Catholic Church, Lew said the White House is comfortable with its decision.

"We have broad consensus - not universal consensus - that this is an approach that's right," Lew said.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced the modification in a lengthy statement: "We will therefore continue - with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency - our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government."

On Friday, the White House altered a recently announced health care rule to say that insurance companies must provide contraception and sterilization coverage free of charge, even for employees of religious-affiliated institutions. The onus is no longer on the employer to provide coverage free of charge.

"The solution that the president announced on Friday is one that puts no institution that claims religious objection because it's related to the church, whether it's Catholic hospital or a Catholic university, in a position where they either have to pay for it or provide benefits that they find objectionable," Lew told Schieffer. "But women will have the right to get them."

Lew said that change does the job of "reconciling two very important principles."

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