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Artificial birth control may well have been legal in the US for almost half a century, but it is a controversial topic that could influence the race to the White House.

The healthcare plan of Barack Obama, the US president, has again come under fire, this time over a proposal to include free birth control in religious institutions.

Obama has antagonised the Roman Catholic church by ordering it to offer its employees free contraceptive coverage under his new health insurance law.

Though the president modified that order, by having the church’s insurance companies be the direct contraceptive providers, the church is still resisting.

When Republicans convened a Capitol Hill hearing on the issue, all the invited witnesses were male religious spokesmen.

Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports from Washington.

Source: Al Jazeera