Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Administration's assault on conscience rights threatens First Amendment
In a Washington Post opinion piece, Michael Gerson highlights the administration's trampling of Catholic conscience concerns, yet the assault threatens the conscience rights of Americans of all persuasions.
When the administration gutted the only federal regulation protecting health care professionals from discrimination for upholding ethical standards, the action threatened not only physicians who cannot morally participate in abortion, but also those who cannot morally participate in the death penalty.
When the administration promulgated a rule mandating provision of contraceptives which the FDA warns can end the development of a living human embryo, the policy not only penalized those who follow Hippocratic standards; it also forced insurance companies to pay for the administration's ideology at a time of economic distress.
When the administration began designing grant stipulations for trafficking victims and AIDS patients to favor organizations lacking moral objections to abortion or contraception, the discrimination not only harmed faith-based organizations but also the vulnerable individuals who depend on their competent and compassionate care.
Unless Americans of all persuasions challenge the administration's assault on conscience rights, we all stand to lose our First Amendment liberties.