Ideas Have Consequences and Obama's Have Bad Ones

Matthew Bowman

2/24/2012 12:33:00 PM - 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.

By no coincidence, the "experts" who created President Obama's anti-pregnancy standard were, without exception, activists for Planned Parenthood and its anti-life allies, and the same crowd are the mandate's biggest cheerleaders. Planned Parenthood profits by propagandizing pregnancy as a problem you can pay them to block or terminate. Now the government will be footing much of that bill or forcing others to pay.

Defenders of the president's mandate have justified its coercion by claiming that an employer who chooses not to treat pregnancy as a disease is just as extreme as a Jehovah's Witness who refuses blood transfusions. But as philosopher Francis Beckwith points out, if that analogy holds, the government would be justified in taking minors of Christian parents and fitting or injecting them with contraceptives, just as the government can order blood transfusions for Jehovah’s Witness children. Anti-pregnancy coercion follows from the premise now embodied in federal law.

Ironically, supporters of ObamaCare claimed it would assist birth by providing health care for pregnant women, and at the outset, pregnancy will be covered. But this is an anomaly required by politics. It cannot coexist alongside formal government derision of pregnancy itself, a hostility that even some Christians on the left are defending in their support of the mandate. A destructive, expensive, self-chosen health crisis cannot be allowed to exist under government controlled healthcare.

Years ago, President Obama infamously let slip his core attitude towards pregnancy when he said if his daughter got pregnant he would want her to have unlimited "choice" so she would not be "punished with a baby." There is hardly any space, or time, between thinking people are punished with a baby, and concluding they should be punished for a baby.