Obama’s Revision of the HHS Mandate Still Violates Religious Liberty

Obama Planned Parenthood Action Event

President Obama’s new so-called “Accommodations” for religious organizations in the new mandate from the HHS has not satisfied Catholic and Pro-life leaders 

Jill Stanek writes:

Now Obama is forcing religious institutions to purchase group insurance policies that include contraception. It’s a shell game. Now NO employer can provide a plan that does not cover contraception.

Instead of directly paying for contraception, religious employers will simply be forced to foot the premium bill for employees receiving free contraception through their insurance.

Essentially, all Obama has done is complicated the issue so the violation of religious liberty isn’t as obviously apparent. Which is exactly what I had expected they were going to do. This way Obama can make it look as though he’s willing to compromise and it’s the extremist Catholic bishops and pro-lifers who are just being stubborn.

The Catholic League claims that “Obama’s Ploy Adds Insult to Injury”:

The Catholic League, for example, uses Christian Brothers as its insurance carrier. So if a future employee of ours were to demand free abortion-inducing drugs, and she is allowed to request free drugs from Christian Brothers, then the rest of us would, in effect, be subsidizing her abortion. This is outrageous and will not stand judicial scrutiny.

When it comes to the First Amendment, there is no such thing as a half loaf. We want now, and in the future, the same rights we have enjoyed since the beginning of the republic.

The response of the Catholic bishops has so far been cautious. In a statement, Cardinal Designate Timothy Dolan said: “While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them”. But really, it’s not up to the government to decide what compromises people’s religious beliefs and what doesn’t. It’s up to the religious leaders. If they say that the government is telling them to do something against their religious beliefs and principles, then the government is. And thus they are violating the First Amendment. Full stop.

So it’s not at all surprising that Planned Parenthood is pleased. Cecile Richards says:

“In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work. We believe the compliance mechanism does not compromise a woman’s ability to access these critical birth control benefits.”

I think it’s incredibly ironic that Pro-choice leaders are backing this, though obviously not unexpected.

As Pro-choice, isn’t promoting and fighting ‘choice’ what you’re all about? Aren’t you against limiting people’s freedom? You say you’re Pro-choice, but you don’t give people the choice to follow their own conscience and religious beliefs? Aren’t you the one’s railing against people forcing their religious beliefs and principles on other people?  And yet you don’t want to give those opposed to your  ideas the basic option of complying with them? Why is it that ‘choice’ somehow applies pretty much exclusively to some idea of women’s sexuality, ‘sexual freedom’, and ‘reproductive healthcare’ (which is not reproductive healthcare, given that abortion, contraception, and sterilization are by definition opposed to reproduction) and nothing else? For once could you be actually and consistently Pro-choice?

This really has nothing to do with what you think about either contraception or abortion. If you’re for basic religious freedom, if you’re against people being forced to do something that violates their beliefs and consciences, and if you have any respect for the Constitution as the actual law of the land… you should be against this. If you’re American, you should be against this. But if you describe yourself as ‘Pro-choice': you should really be against this.

I think this is just clear demonstration of the complete hypocrisy of “Pro-choice” advocates.

And furthermore, it bears reminding that Kathleen Sebelius is the director of the HHS and has in the past gone so far as to destroy evidence that would incriminate Planned Parenthood.