President Obama is set to make a commencement speech on May 14 at Barnard College, an all-women’s college in New York City. The announcement comes amid an ongoing culture war over Obama’s health-care law, which requires employers to provide contraception coverage. Barnard President Debora Spar said, “I think clearly and somewhat surprisingly, women’s issues have just blown into the political debate this year in ways that are pretty unexpected. It’s hard to imagine we're still debating contraception in 2012 … but here we are.” New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson had previously been announced as the commencement speaker, but the plans changed after the White House called Spar on Wednesday with Obama’s offer to speak.
Commencement Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images