Kathryn Lopez

Stacy Molai knows that life can be hard and unfair, and that the debates held in Washington actually affect real people.

Molai is 31 and suffers from Crohn's disease, a chronic gastrointestinal condition that threatened her life when she was a teenager. Molai is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by seven state attorneys general against the Obama administration's health care mandate that religious employers provide insurance that covers contraception and abortion.

Molai relies on her medical insurance for supplies that would otherwise cost her $300-$400 a month, with every necessary hospitalization and surgery costing $3,000 to $5,000. "Should the mandate be upheld," she insists, "I would gladly give up my insurance coverage, despite the very real risk that would pose to my financial well-being and my health." Without the specialized care she needs, obedience to her conscience rather than Obamacare could put her life in danger.

Molai is in the target age bracket for the administration's cynical ploy to scare voters with mendacious rhetoric about a GOP "war on women." But she sees through it. "'Free' contraception under this law isn't really free," she tells me. "Everyone pays for it. Being forced to use my money to help pay for contraception violates my conscience as a Catholic and is therefore a violation of my constitutionally guaranteed rights." She adds: "What worries me the most is the violation of our 'first freedom,' the freedom of religion. If this freedom is taken away, others will be sure to follow."

The recent Supreme Court ruling upholding another part of the health-care law has been an educational opportunity that Molai's tried to seize upon: "There are so many people who know 'something big' is going on, but they don't know exactly what it is or why they should care one way or the other. It has been a great opportunity to enter into meaningful conversations with people and to encourage them to continue to educate themselves."

This may not surprise you, because you've already been introduced to her zeal, but Molai is also a missionary -- not in some foreign land, but the heartland: Omaha, Neb. And her evangelism isn't all about the drawbacks to the president's health care law. She is a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, which supports students who seek to live their lives in accord with the Gospels.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.