Obama expected to address contraception mandate

President Barack Obama is expected this morning to address a controversial Department of Health and Human Services mandate regarding contraceptive coverage in health care plans, several news outlets are reporting.

The announcement comes after religious groups -- including a wide coalition of Catholic leaders -- denounced the mandate, which requires employers to provide preventive medical services for women, including contraception, to their employees.

Unclear at the moment is exactly what move Obama will make regarding the mandate. While several news outlets are reporting that the president will make some sort of an adjustment addressing the concerns of religious groups, others are reporting that he will not back off his goal to provide increased access to birth control for women.

Obama is expected to address the issue at 12:15 PM Eastern Time, CNN is reporting. The cable news channel also said the president will announce a compromise where insurance companies will pick up the cost of contraceptive services to prevent religious groups from paying for them.

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