But for the right, this is an issue of the Obama administration's telling church-based groups that they must act against their deeply held beliefs. As House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told me, the argument did not start with Congress. It was a response to Obama. "It wasn't about birth control. It's about religious freedom."
The tables have turned. Abortion used to be a matter of choice. Ditto birth control. But now that they have considerable political power, the erstwhile choice advocates want to take away the choice of dissenters to opt out.
Choice is gone. Tolerance is musty memory. "Access" is the new buzzword -- and access means free. Under Obamacare, employer-paid health plans can charge women copayments for necessary and vital medical services if they are seriously ill, but birth control is free.
Fluke did address Congress. She observed: "Conservative Catholic organizations have been asking (us) what did we expect when we enrolled at a Catholic school. We can only answer that we expected women to be treated equally, to not have our school create untenable burdens that impede our academic success."
I cannot imagine how a Georgetown law student could expect the Catholic Church to treat women equally. It doesn't let women be priests.
What is more, Fluke asserted that if students have to go out and get their own birth control -- because they chose to attend a Catholic institution -- that hurts their grades. Therefore, Washington must force religious institutions to go against their deeply held beliefs and hand out birth control, if indirectly.
Washington has accomplished a great leap, from a plea for choice to a roar of entitlement.
No doubt, this approach works well with intolerant liberals who want to impose their views on others. But it is enough to cause some of us social moderates, who worry about the encroachment on religious and personal liberty, to go into the loving arms of social conservatives.
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