Charlotte Hays

The HHS mandate exemplifies the problems inherent in the government take-over of medicine, which conflicts fundamentally with our constitutional liberties. This provision tramples on the religious liberty guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Never before in the United States have religious people been ordered to violate their consciences or pay fines if they refuse. Yet this will just be the beginning as ObamaCare sets in motion myriad coercive measures which will deprive citizens of the ability to control their property and their health care decisions.

Democrats know that they cannot have this return to a discussion about religious liberty and the proper limits of government. Yet contraception and the idea of a “war on women” is a political gold-mine (and in fact, the Democrats have raised $1.6 million to fight the GOP “war on women,” even though they know that there is no such war.)

To be clear, no one is arguing against the legality of contraception. Contraception, in fact, has next to nothing to do with this discussion. It is a settled issue. The only reason it has come up, is that there is another settled issue that Democrats seek to avoid.

Society, at least until now, has also decided also that in the United States we don’t impose onerous fines on religious people if they won’t violate their consciences. And this is what the new HHS mandate does. It's ObamaCare, not Rick Santorum or Rush Limbaugh, that fans the flames of a culture war by imposing one-size-fits-all government dictates on a society that has historically been live-and-let-live on such issues.

It is going to be tricky for conservatives not to walk into an ambush. Rush Limbaugh, one of the most astute of men, did. I am sure that he found Ms. Fluke’s demand that the Jesuits, despite their Church’s teaching, provide her with free contraception, as galling as I did. Unfortunately, Limbaugh called Ms. Fluke names that a man should never use about a woman.

To his credit, when Limbaugh issued an apology, however, he did not use the “if I have offended anyone” locution common to the non-apology apology. It was a genuine apology. But unfortunately, by then, the damage was done: Ms. Fluke had become a feminist icon.

It matters little to Democrats that Republicans aren’t remotely interested in contraception as an issue. Republicans do want, however, to preserve the religious liberty that has been the birthright of every American since 1791 and to fight against the unconstitutional expansion of government, which is ObamaCare's fundamental flaw.

Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.