Richmond, VA - Following President Obama's remarks clarifying how expanded contraception coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act will be implemented, Governor Tim Kaine released the following statement:

"I am pleased that the White House has taken further steps to ensure that all women have access to affordable contraception and to ensure that religious organizations will not be asked to violate their beliefs in the process.  There are some who have wrongly used this debate to pit women's rights against freedom of religion. The steps taken by the White House show that there is a way to respect both. From the day the new regulations were announced, I've encouraged the White House to find a better solution that embraces and protects both access to contraception and religious freedom, and I am proud to support the new steps announced today.

"Throughout my career, I've been a strong supporter of a woman's right to make her own health and reproductive decisions. The significant increase in access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act is an important step forward. I believe that access to contraception and health care is critical to reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions. Unlike my opponents in this race who support dangerous 'personhood' legislation that restricts women's rights and could limit access to some forms of contraception, I strongly believe that making contraception more accessible is an important part of health care, reduces overall health care costs, and provides women and men with greater control over whether and when they have children.

"There are too many Americans who believe compromise in Washington is no longer achievable. Today's agreement shows that if we focus on the issues, rather than the politics, we can find common ground and make choices that promote and protect important rights and freedoms instead of pitting those rights and freedoms against each other. That's the kind of leadership I hope to bring to the U.S. Senate as we fight to rebuild our economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class."