Skip to comments.What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling
Posted on 02/10/2012 5:32:20 PM PST by Gamecock
President Obama walked into the White House Press Room today and attempted to pull a political rabbit out of a hat. Faced with an avalanche of mounting opposition to his administrations mandate that religious employers provide birth control to all employees, the President announced what his staff characterized as a compromise. Was it?
After his opening comments, the President stated his new policy:
Today, weve reached a decision on how to move forward. Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services - no matter where they work. So that core principle remains. But if a womans employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company - not the hospital, not the charity - will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.
The result will be that religious organizations wont have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly. Let me repeat: These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services. But women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women, and theyll no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a year that could go towards paying the rent or buying groceries.
This means that certain employers who have a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan will not fund these services directly. Instead, the insurance plan will cover these services without charge to all women employees.
What does this resolve? Well, to state the matter bluntly, nothing. At the end of the day, this compromise will resolve the issue only for those whose conscience can be resolved by an accounting maneuver.
The qualified insurance plans do not print the monies required to cover the birth control services mandated by the Administration. They will obtain these funds through the premiums paid by employers including those employers with a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan.
Will this resolve the issue politically? That remains to be seen. As is often the case, what is presented in Washington as a compromise is really not a compromise in any meaningful sense at all. The very fact that groups like Planned Parenthood celebrated the compromise indicates that it was not a compromise at all just an accounting trick.
There were several very interesting aspects of the Presidents remarks that should draw close attention.
First, President Obama said that he had earlier promised that we would spend the next year working with institutions like Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities to find an equitable solution that protects religious liberty and ensures that every woman has access to the care that she needs.
Interestingly, that is not at all what Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in her January 20 statement:
Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.
The Secretary ended that portion of her remarks with a final sentence, in which she stated that her department would continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns. Secretary Sebelius left no door open for a change in the policy, only a listening ear and more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. That is a far cry from what the President described today.
Second, the President steadfastly describes this controversy as a Catholic issue, and this is to his political advantage. He spoke of meeting with Catholic leaders and working with Catholic parishes and Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities. He never even mentioned any other church, denomination, or religious group.
The President wants to frame this as a Catholic issue, but it is not. The Roman Catholic Church is the major religious body that maintains teaching against all forms of artificial birth control, but those moral concerns are not limited to the Catholic Church. The mandated coverage would violate the conscience and deepest convictions of millions of American evangelical Christians and their hundreds of schools and institutions which, put together, outnumber Catholic institutions.
Third, the Obama Administration continues to frame the controversy as a concern about contraception. Millions of Americans naturally think of a contraceptive as a mechanism for preventing the fertilization of the womans egg. They are unaware that the word has been redefined in medical, pharmacological, and political contexts to refer to a mechanism for preventing either fertilization or the successful attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall.
This is not merely a matter of semantics. Any intervention that prevents the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine lining is an abortion. The Obama Administration has mandated the inclusion of the so-called morning after pill and other forms of emergency contraception in qualified plans.
Thus, only an accounting maneuver hides the fact that we will all be paying for chemical abortions under the Presidents prized Affordable Care Act. Added to this is coverage for sterilizations.
Fourth, the Presidents remarks today do nothing in the least to save the health care plans governed by religious groups. These include those smaller groups that self-cover their employee medical expenses and massive denominational insurance plans that cover hundreds of thousands of ministers, religious workers, and employees of church-related institutions. The current mandates threaten to kill one of the most effective and efficient means of covering the health care needs of millions of Americans.
Fifth, the Presidents remarks today betrayed a fundamental problem that lies at the heart of this controversy and his own thinking. He clearly sees the controversy as a matter of balancing a policy goal, on the one hand, and religious liberty, on the other. He even spoke of religious liberty as an inalienable right that is enshrined in our Constitution.
But, just to state the obvious, a policy goal and an inalienable right are not to be balanced. A matter of policy, no matter how urgent or important, must be reconciled to an inalienable right. This does not mean that such reconciliations are easy nor that every claim of religious liberty is legitimate. Nevertheless, this controversy concerns the deepest convictions held by millions of Americans, and these convictions are rooted in over two thousand years of religious teaching. The Presidents remarks today do nothing of substance to alleviate this crisis.
Lastly, this controversy exposes the most fundamental problem with the inclusion of birth control in the Affordable Care Act, and this problem is not limited to any single government policy. This problem is endemic to our culture. Clearly, the President and his Administration are not alone in defining birth control as a form of preventive care, putting the prevention of pregnancy on par with an inoculation against disease. That is the greatest outrage.
The Presidents inclusion of birth control as a form of preventive care also explains why Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was so pleased with President Obamas remarks today. She said: Planned Parenthoods priority is increasing access to preventive health care. This birth control coverage benefit does just that.
So preventing the birth of a child is classified with the polio vaccine. As Cecile Richards declared, the Obama Administrations policy does just that.
Anyone who celebrates this compromise as a victory is hiding behind an accounting trick. That accounting trick cannot hide the great moral tragedy at the heart of the Presidents policy a policy that leaves religious liberty in peril and Planned Parenthood smiling.
This religious issue thing is a clever ploy.
yOU'VE BEEN CONNED.
Of course, NPR may not have a completely unbiased opinion on this matter ...
Don’t get between a man and his base. Liberation theology not Christianity is what stokes this guy’s fire. Wait until his second term. Then he will show you his true character without the “happy talk”. No code phrases like fundamentally transform, I am the one we have been waiting for or hope and change.
Southern Baptist are screaming from the rooftops. This not just a Catholic issue. It is a FREEDOM issue.
Obama’s goal has nothing to do with religion.
Obama just want the churches to abandon the hospitals to be taken over by the government and used to undercut prices to force all other hospitals to bankrupt and be taken over as well, getting to a single-payer healthcare system.
Since Obamacare will never be repealed in the Senate, this will proceed on autopilot more or less fast no matter who is elected.
Where does zero get the authority to tell insurers what they must cover? Can he tell them to NOT insure white males?
The President has no delegated power to "compromise" on an area which is not within his purview in the first place. The Constitution's First Amendment assures that.
There are those here and elsewhere who recognize that this is not about "women's health," or "contraception," or any other semantic terms used by the President and his surrogates. So-called "health care reform" itself was the Trojan Horse used by Obama and his fellow "progressives" to bypass and subvert the United States Constitution's limitations on coercive power.
". . . every word of [the Constitution] decides a question between power and liberty. . . ." - James Madison, National Gazette, January 19, 1792
Ours is a "People's" Constitution structuring and limiting the powers of our government, including that of any elected President.
That Constitution has not been amended to grant this President, or any other President, the right to violate its First Amendment's protections. Those provisions are not within the purview of the President, nor any other branch of the government.
The time has come for "the People," to assert their sovereign will and to reject all efforts to bypass or ignore the Constitution.
§ 1907. If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the constitution and the Union, then they will have accomplished all, that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of fife, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful, as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them."
Of their Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, one of the authors of THE FEDERALISTS' explanations of the Constitution to the citizens who would ratify it, said:
"Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon them collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption or even knowledge of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives [the executive, judiciary, or legislature]; in a departure from it prior to such an act." - Alexander Hamilton
In the first of the eighty-five "Federalist Papers," Hamilton also emphasized that:
"... it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection or choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force."
I wonder what 0bama’s price is for HIS principles, since he thinks our inalienable rights can be bought.
If he gets a second term ... Yes.
If the people of this country fall for this crap they have an avalanche of shyt that will follow it.
This is a test.
Obamacare has got to go.
He wants to do that because he's convinced that it will marginalize Catholics, and everyone else will ignore that the situation might actually affect them in some way or another.
I'm sure the polls that show that the majority of folks don't think this requirement is a problem is making Obama think he can skate on this issue. We just need to convince more people that THEY will be affected by it, as well as Catholics.
Thanks for posting this from Mohler’s site.
**This not just a Catholic issue. It is a FREEDOM issue.**
You’ve got it!
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That done, they are concentrating their fire on the Catholic Church
Their idea is that if they get this roadblock out of the way they can steamroll over all denominations
“We’ll force you to cover contraception but we’ll use Orwellian wording so you can pretend to yourself that you’re not covering contraception.”
The whole thing has got to go.
Any compromise is in effect legitimizing the rest of it .
Any compromise is short sighted .
There is an exemption for muslims . They do not have to spend the $ buying any of this . What do you think is going to happen when the masses of people who do not believe that there is any difference between allah and the God of Abraham , Issac and Jacob are going to do when they find out that they can convert and get 100% free health care out of it ?
The whole thing is a Trojan horse and stupid suckers are falling for a compromise to ease their conscience . Where is your conscience on the fact that if you get an exemption it still does not stop the fact that it still will not stop the rest of your fellow Americans from having to pay to cause the death of other fellow Americans .
You compromise on this and YOU are still guilty for their deaths .
You compromise on this and YOU deserve the sword that will follow you when YOUR compromise does nothing but increase the numbers of the followers of islam .
You compromise to ease your conscience and you will DESERVE exactly what you will get .
This statement is as dumb as a bunch of rocks (my apologies to rocks everywhere). And yet there are still some who think this is a "brillant" solution (like NPR).
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