Even Catholic institutions that object to this command on religious grounds are to be bullied by the federal government into violating their consciences. This ought to have provoked an outcry from liberals, allegedly firm guardians of the First Amendment. Instead, a compliant media has peddled the narrative of a supposed Republican "war on women." Every Sunday talk host presented the issue on the Democrats' terms. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., wailed that Republicans "want to take us back to the Dark Ages ... when women were property." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is encouraging signatures on a petition to fight back against Republican efforts "to deny tens of millions of American women life-saving health care services."
More bunk. Contraceptives are not a matter of life and death. But even if they were, such as cancer drugs are, is that an argument for forcing insurance companies to provide them free of charge? Why not force free distribution of all medicines? The mandate makes no economic, social or moral sense.
President Obama has slyly maneuvered to participate in this subject-changing project. First, he contacted Barnard, a women's college, and offered himself as commencement speaker. They said yes, bumping New York Times editor Jill Abramson. Sisterhood is powerful, but apparently, not that powerful. Next, he phoned the Georgetown law student whom Rush Limbaugh insulted. To be sure, Limbaugh unintentionally helped the Democrats' project by offering them something that fit so conveniently into the "war on women" trope. But Limbaugh's unfortunate comments (for which he apologized) cannot obscure the absurdity of the Democrats' argument that it is an urgent national concern to provide free contraceptives to law students and everybody else.
Of course, there is no Republican "war on women." But there is a Democratic war on religious liberty, taxpayers and common sense.