Matthew Bowman

President Obama's recent attacks on religious freedom through ObamaCare have far broader implications than the immediate crisis. The attacks not only strike at the very rights of conscience our Founding Fathers sought to protect via the First Amendment. The threat is also due to the underlying hostility to pregnancy and children that the president encoded into federal law.

The president's edict forcing religious entities to violate their beliefs about abortifacient drugs is rooted in the government’s decision to use its newfound control of healthcare to define pregnancy as a disease that requires free "preventive care." By targeting pregnancy, this policy also inherently targets children, because the scientific fact is that pregnancy is children, who are just in a specific circumstance.

The president and his defenders defend this view by insisting that pregnancy is far more expensive than free surgical sterilization and implantable abortifacients. And they declare that "gender equality" requires free anti-pregnancy methods to create lifestyle choices for women.

Initially, the president is wrong on the facts. His panoply of anti-pregnancy items can run in the thousands of dollars and correlate with unhealthy lifestyles especially by enabling promiscuity, while children are one of the greatest capital investments a nation can make.

But beyond the data, these fundamental ideas have serious consequences. Coercion is an inevitable result of the federal government's mandated attitude towards pregnancy and children: that they are a disease and a health crisis needing urgent remedies, that they are exorbitantly expensive, and that they are essentially personal, even selfish choices.

Ask yourself: what will a centrally controlled society do with a choice that threatens public health, wastes precious dollars, and serves only selfish choices? Sooner than we all realize, the “evil” of pregnancy will be denied benefits, regulated closely, and inevitably punished. You cannot sow the seed of pregnancy hostility without reaping a government of anti-pregnancy coercion.

I'm not even talking about the fact that abortion will inevitably be mandated as "preventive care" too, because pregnancy, the president tells us, is a disease. I'm saying that because the government now treats pregnancy as an expensive, autonomously chosen health threat, pregnancy and children are officially worse than the far left’s greatest mortal sin of smoking. It didn't take long after Oregon legalized suicide drugs before cancer patient Barbara Wagner got a government letter saying her cancer treatment was not covered, but she could get a free lethal dose to kill herself instead.

Matthew Bowman

Matt Bowman is senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.