ObamaCare contraceptive rule violates freedom of conscience

ObamaCare contraceptive rule violates freedom of conscience

January 25th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are under assault from the ObamaCare medical reform law passed by Democrats in 2010.

The Obama administration has announced it will force many religious-affiliated organizations that object to contraceptives not only to provide contraceptives to employees on their health insurance plans but to offer them free of charge. The Catholic Church had pleaded with the administration to allow the church to uphold its teachings against contraception and not to have to provide services that clearly violate those teachings.

The issue should not be whether you agree with any church's views on contraception, but whether the federal government should have the power to require a religious organization to undermine its own doctrines. The affected organizations have until Aug. 1, 2013, to obey the requirement and start providing free contraceptives to employees.

"In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told The New York Times. "We're unable to live with this."

The new federal rule technically carves out an exemption for some religious employers. But the exemption is extremely narrow, because an organization cannot avoid the rule if it employs or serves a lot of people who do not share the organization's faith. Of course, many church-affiliated organizations have the express desire to reach out to as many people of other faiths as possible, so they will be forced to surrender their First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion unless they reduce their outreach, whether it be through a hospital, charity or social service agency.

Considering ObamaCare's high costs and the way it is undercutting fundamental religious liberty, it is not the least bit surprising that a majority of states have filed a lawsuit to have it overturned. We urgently hope they succeed.