This issue was always about more than contraceptives and who pays for them. It is about individual liberty and whether the government under "Obamacare" has the constitutional right to dictate to private businesses and church-related entities when such orders violate conscience and religious beliefs. Would the administration also order a conscientious objector to engage in combat? It's the same principle.
If the administration can get away with this, there will be no stopping it. If government can force an insurance company or institution to pay for a birth-control pill or a morning-after pill, it can, under the same authority, conceivably force them to pay for a euthanasia pill for those others have deemed unfit to live.
Too extreme? Most inhumanities begin with extremes. What is to stop the government from such behavior? If the Constitution's protection of religious freedom is to be annulled, along with the already voided "endowed" right to life written into the Declaration of Independence, by what moral or legal authority can anyone stop government from doing anything? This is more than a slippery slope; this is an avalanche and it threatens our most fundamental rights, without which we morph into something other than the America we have known.
Responding to the president's remarks in which he pulled back on his insurance company mandate, Amy Ridenour, chair of the National Center for Public Policy Research, weighing in on the cost of providing contraceptive benefits, said, "Here's the problem: The 'savings' substantially comes from pregnancy avoidance. That's what religious-based opponents of the birth control/early abortifacient mandate objected to in the first place."
There are two possible remedies: A decision expected this spring by the Supreme Court that Obamacare is unconstitutional, or a complete repeal of the health-care law, which would require a Republican Congress and a Republican president.
What other liberties does the Obama administration want to subvert? In his Super Bowl Sunday interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, President Obama appeared to complain about the Founding Fathers, whom he suggested, "...designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change that I would like sometimes." It's called the separation of powers, Mr. President, and it was created to protect the nation from a dictatorial executive branch.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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