By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – At Boston College, there is cautious optimism from those on both sides of the debate over whether religious institutions should have to provide contraception coverage to employees.

Today President Obama’s announcement of a comprise plan: It allows churches and religious organizations to be exempt from paying for or directly providing contraception coverage. Instead, it requires an institution’s insurance company to offer women contraception free of charge.

Ethan Mack, a freshman says, “As long as the church doesn’t have to offer it to women because they find it against what they believe in, than I have no problem. What’s most important to me is upholding religious liberty in this country. This is not an issue about health care, this is an issue about religious liberty, so as long as we are truly upholding that value, that’s what’s the most important thing. If that’s what this exemption truly does, then I think my biggest gripe is gone.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

Brendan Anderson, also a freshman says, “I actually think it’s a really good compromise because it hits both sides of the issue and I can’t really see how people would be too upset by that. I’m glad it came around. This is such a nice conclusion.”

Lizzie Jekanowski, a Co-Chair Boston College Students for Sexual Health, says she wants to learn more. “If it’s implemented correctly this could still be a good way so women can still access their contraception and have it be covered by their insurance agencies while still addressing religious beliefs.

But she is still concerned about the impact of conservative religious groups on women’s choices. “I am disappointed that a minority group in our nation is trying to dictate what should be the case for all women and all people,” she says. “We are a nation of different religious beliefs, different moral beliefs and I don’t believe a small group of people should be telling me a woman what health care I deserve.”

Jessika Parry, the other Co-Chair of BC Students for Sexual Health, says “I think it is a good compromise to have people working directly with their insurance companies. I’m just worried about implementing that. I’m worried companies will hide that from their employees that their insurance companies are required to offer that and forget to mention it.”

Ben Martin, of the St. Thomas Moore Society at BC says he is waiting to see what the Bishops say. “I’m curious to see how it develops. It’s interesting and promising that he’s open to talk about this but we’ll see. we’ll have to wait and see.”


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