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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson breaks with Obama on contraception rule



Sen. Bill Nelson tells the Buzz he has called three White House officials to express disapproval with the controversial new contraception rule affecting religious groups.

"My position is that church affiliated organizations should be exempt, not just churches," Nelson said. He joins an emerging group of Democrats who are opposing President Obama on the contentious issue, which has given Republicans a rallying point.

But Nelson does not support Sen. Marco Rubio's bill to reverse the decision. Adds Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin:

"The federal government already is making an exception for churches.  And Sen. Nelson thinks there should be an exception for church-affiliated organizations. It's a matter of religious freedom. 

"At the same time, he wants to make sure women's health is protected. He feels there has to be way to do both of these things. One state, for instance, allows religious employers to enroll workers in a plan with a reduced premium, and then employees who want contraception can pay for the extra coverage. He doesn’t see Sen. Rubio’s bill as offering such a solution."

[Last modified: Thursday, February 9, 2012 2:47pm]


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