President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 9, 2012. Facing sagging jobs numbers, President Barack Obama seeks to recast the election as a debate over tax fairness, calling for a temporary tax cut extension but just for low and middle income earners. The president�s pitch is aimed at painting Mitt Romney as a protector of the rich while ramping up questions about the Republican challenger�s own wealth. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
DENVER (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he has tried to accommodate religious objections to the requirement that employers provide insurance coverage for birth control.
Speaking to thousands of women at a campaign event in Denver, Obama defended the controversial mandate in the health care law.
He said, "We recognize that many people have strongly held religious views on contraception, which is why we made sure churches and other houses of worship -- they don't have to provide it, they don't have to pay for it."
Plaintiffs in dozens of lawsuits call that exemption too narrow and arbitrary.
Obama also told the crowd that his administration "worked with the Catholic hospitals and universities to find a solution that protects both religious liberty and a woman's health."
But opponents of the mandate say the president's proposed accommodation is inadequate, and note that the law remains unchanged.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)