A strong move is on to demonize and marginalize social conservatives, a move that originates from the political left but is being aided by some on the right, a move that is based on assumptions that better describe the leftist accusers than they do their targets.
Obama, by rewriting the Bush rules to protect health care providers who objected on moral grounds to abortion, has breached his repeated promise to preserve them and has dealt a significant blow to religious liberties, yet he is painting people of faith as the extremists.
In his University of Notre Dame speech, he said, "Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause and make sure that all our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women."
In his propaganda speeches for Obamacare, he said, "One more misunderstanding I want to clear up: Under our plan ... federal conscience laws will remain in place."
But what about his actions? Well, a few months before his Notre Dame speech, the administration disclosed that it had begun the process of overturning the Bush protections.
Also, when he signed Obamacare into law on March 22, 2010, the bill contained no conscience protections, and the administration was still working feverishly to overturn the Bush rules. This was made clear when the administration filed papers in a lawsuit brought to challenge the protections, in which it revealed that it was seeking to rescind the rules.
Recently, the administration formally repealed the rules and adopted new regulations that allowed the protections to remain in force on abortion and sterilization but eliminated protection for contraceptives and so-called abortion drugs.
Though the administration maintained it was protecting conscience rights, it was obvious -- to people of conscience, anyway -- that it had flagrantly breached its promise, just as it had with its pledge not to increase taxes of any kind on families making less than $250,000. Indeed, in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in November to determine whether the Obamacare mandates threaten conscience rights, many panelists affirmed they do.
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