The Advisors Behind the Contraception Mandate

According to ABC’s Jake Tapper, the most influential supporters of the controversial Contraception Mandate were HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Director of Domestic Policy Melody Barnes (who has resigned from the Obama administration), Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards.

Other than their support for this mandate, they have something else in common: they are all unabashedly pro-abortion.

Why was Cecile Richards, who is not an official White House advisor, included in the discussions so prominently? Why was someone who could directly benefit from this mandate included, yet the very organizations that would be forced to provide this coverage against their beliefs, were excluded from the conversation?

Prior to being chosen by President Obama to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius was  the pro-choice governor of Kansas, who vetoed reasonable restrictions on abortions in 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008. She also accepted campaign donations from notorious later term abortionist George Tiller, even hosting him and another late term abortionist at the Governor’s mansion in 2007.

Melody Barnes, the White House’s Director of Domestic Policy, has worked with several pro-abortion organizations, including Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, and was a lobbyist for the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Valerie Jarrett  was selected by Obama to lead his White House Council on Women and Girls. While Ms. Jarrett has no record of working directly for a pro-abortion organization, she has spoken at many events in favor of abortion, such as the NARAL Pro-Choice America’s 18th National Power of Choice Luncheon in 2009.

It seems disingenuous that President Obama would surround himself with a group of advisors that only see one side of the issue, and refused to see the mandate from the perspective of those who would be affected. President Obama could have included the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the initial discussion on the bill, and avoided the controversy altogether.  Instead, he chose to lean heavily on a group of pro-abortion fanatics, who are fighting to take away Americans’ religious liberties.