Obama adviser defends contraception mandate

“These institutions don’t have to pay for it, they don’t have to sponsor it and I think most people agree that’s an appropriate compromise,” Axelrod said in an appearance on MSNBC.  

The legal challenge filed Monday by Notre Dame, Catholic University, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Michigan Catholic Conference argues the contraception mandate in the healthcare law violates religious freedom. 

Under the mandate, employers must offer birth-control coverage to their employees without a co-pay. While churches are exempt from the rule, critics say the law would still require people to offer contraception in violation of their religious beliefs. 

An "accommodation" offered by the administration after initial complaints does not go far enough, according to critics. Under that attempted compromise, insurers of Catholic hospitals and other groups closely tied to religious organizations must offer the birth-control coverage.