One theory for why Barack Obama pushed the contraception mandate right now is that it helps Rick Santorum. Others theorize it's because Obama is an anti-religious bigot with a left-wing agenda. Reasonable minds can disagree on this.
But it may end up helping Mitt Romney by reminding people that the "individual mandate" is the least of the problems with ObamaCare. (The "individual mandate" is simply the legal argument for why ObamaCare is unconstitutional in a country that has accepted Social Security and Medicare as constitutional.)
This isn't a Catholic issue or even a religious issue. Conservatives are falling into the Democrats' trap by denouncing it as such. It's a freedom issue. (Or, as Democrats call it, "the F-word.")
If liberals like it, it's subsidized; if they don't, it's prohibited. And now they can impose their left-wing authoritarianism on the entire country by calling their mandates and prohibitions "insurance."
Liberal fundamentalists say: I don't see why anyone needs to hunt; I don't know why anyone needs to eat meat; I don't see why anyone needs to bathe every day; I don't know why anyone minds looking at urine in a low-flow toilet; I don't know why anyone needs an incandescent light bulb ...
Screw you, liberals. I don't know why anyone needs an abortion, free contraception, crap-ass "art" with photos of vaginas on the Virgin Mary, non-farming farmers or a $1 million pension for Anthony Weiner.
But I'm forced to subsidize all of that.
And now we're all going to be forced to subsidize the entire wish list of the Berkeley City Council, recast as "health insurance."
Insurance is not supposed to be for normal expenses in the ordinary course of events, such as multivitamins, house painting or oil changes. Insurance is for unexpected catastrophes: fires, accidents, cancer.
The basic idea is to spread the risk of unforeseen disasters. Filling up your gas tank, for example, is not an unforeseen disaster (though it's getting to be under Obama).
So why is birth control covered by insurance? Birth control pills aren't that expensive -- generics are about $20 a month -- nor is the need for them a bolt out of the blue. Why not have health insurance cover manicures, back massages, carrot cake and nannies?
Liberals huffily ask why it's so important to the Catholic Church not to pay for insurance plans that cover birth control, but the better question is: Why is it so important to liberals to force them to? (Wait until they have to buy coverage for vibrating butt-plugs!)