Thursday, March 15, 2012
If "99 percent of women" already access contraceptives, why make conscientious objectors provide them?
A recent Washington Post article about a failed Senate vote to correct Obamacare's contraceptives mandate and restore conscience freedoms focused on what Mitt Romney misunderstood about the bill. The article should have focused on what Thomas Jefferson understood about the First Amendment.
"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority,” Jefferson proclaimed.
This primacy of First Amendment freedoms has prompted our nation to exempt conscientious objectors from wartime military service and Hippocratic physicians from aiding in capital punishment.
Yet somehow the administration's plan to shower potential voters with free contraceptives just before the election trumps the conscience rights of millions of Americans. Many maintain deep moral or religious convictions about now-mandated drugs like ella and Plan B that the FDA warns have the potential to end a developing human life.
If, as President Obama asserts, 99 percent of women already access contraceptives, where's the imperative to suddenly coerce conscientious objectors into paying for them? Mr. Obama's sham conscience "accommodation," merely shifted contraceptive coverage paperwork from employers to insurers and never even made it into the final published rule.
The issue is not partisan: If the Obama administration can abrogate our conscience rights over contraception, future administrations can abrogate our conscience rights over anything.