Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, delivered the commencement address at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute on Friday. Leaders in the Catholic Church had pressured Georgetown to rescind her invitation, given her key role in implementing the health reform law, which requires employers to cover contraceptives.


One of several protestors of Kathleen Sebelius holds a rosary as they sing and pray outside the main gate of Georgetown University. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

This week Steubenville University in Ohio decided it would end its student health insurance plan rather than comply with the health reform law’s mandated coverage of contraceptives. Another university in Florida now says it’s weighing a similar decision. Lawsuits against that part of the health reform law are beginning to wind their way up through the court system, and some think those could have a fighting shot at winning.

The White House is also feeling pressure from the left on contraceptives, with a separate suit in New York looking to unwind the age-restrictions that the administration currently imposes on emergency contraception (women under 17 must have a prescription to access Plan B).

All this seems to indicate that our national conversation about contraceptives isn’t over — and that groups on the both sides intend to keep the discussion very much alive.