Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul blasted President Barack Obama today over the mandate his administration will likely give final approval to soon that forces insurance companies to cover birth control and drugs that can cause abortion.

The mandate, which has come under heavy criticism from pro-life and Catholic groups, would be put into place with virtually no protections for religious groups that don’t want to be forced to purchase health insurance that covers such drugs because of their moral and religious objections.

Paul’s campaign released a statement today saying the new Obamacare regulation would “force all health-care plans to cover so-called “preventive” services, which include sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives–including those that cause abortions. The provision, coupled with Obamacare’s individual mandate, essentially forces Americans to buy health plans that cover things they find objectionable, while offering inauthentic opportunities to seek an exemption.”

“I am deeply troubled by the flippancy with which President Obama recently discussed regulations that are alarming and troublesome for many Americans,” Paul said. “Not all Americans are comfortable with the Obama administration’s decision to mandate coverage of birth control and morning-after pills, and the considerations of these people, many of them Christian conservatives, are worthy of careful consideration – not mockery.”

“Many, like me, view this rigid regulatory overstep from which there is inadequate opportunity to self-exempt as payback to Planned Parenthood and big pharmaceutical companies for their support of Obamacare,” Paul added. “Many others oppose it out of strict moral conviction and their voices should be heard at least to the extent that an authentic opportunity to exempt be provided. That is, until Obamacare is repealed in its entirety.”

“As this mandate violates the conscience of millions of pro-life Americans, I have introduced in Congress H.R. 1099, the Taxpayer Freedom of Conscience Act, which removes all federal funding for domestic and international family planning,” Paul continued. “As President, I plan to defund Obamacare and all federal programs that use tax money taken from the American people to promote abortion and provide abortion services domestically and globally. I pledge also to veto any bill with funding for Planned Parenthood or any other international family planning regimes.”

This is the second time Paul has pledged to cut off taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.