WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama says a revamped birth control policy will both protect religious liberties and protect women's access to contraception.

Speaking at the White House, Obama announced changes to the policy that has generated criticism from religious groups and others who say it would force them to violate their faith.

Obama urged politicians not to use the complicated matter as a wedge issue.

Under the changes, religious employers will not have to cover birth control for their employees. Instead, the government will demand that insurance companies be directly responsible for providing free contraception.

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York, the head of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops, says the compromise is a step in the right direction.

He also said there were too few details to know whether the president's changes addressed the church's concerns.