By Sam Baker - 02/21/12 10:01 PM EST
Women who oppose the White House's controversial birth-control mandate are pushing back against Democrats' effort to frame the issue around women's health.
Since an all-male panel of religious leaders testified about the policy last week, Democrats and women's groups have adopted the catchphrase "Where are the women?"
Two female attorneys — Helen Alvaré, a law professor at George Mason University, and Kim Daniels, former counsel for the Thomas More Law Center — have launched an open letter saying the White House's allies don't speak for all women.
Hundreds of women from across the country have signed on.
Critics of the White House policy say the issue isn't fundamentally about women's health, but rather about religious liberty. The policy does not require religious-affiliated employers, such as Catholic hospitals, to directly provide coverage for contraception. But it still must be available, without a co-pay, through those employers' insurance companies.
Because the cost of providing that coverage will be built into insurance premiums, critics say they're still being forced to pay for services they find immoral.
Religious organizations that self-insure would also be covered by the mandate.