Thursday, February 21, 2013

What the contraception fight is about

CMA commentary published in The Washington Post, February 8, 2013

By CMA VP for Govt. Relations, Jonathan Imbody

Reprising Neville Chamberlain's infamous "peace for our time" speech, E.J. Dionne Jr. pontificates, "America’s Big Religious War ended Friday" ("Obama's olive branch to Catholics," Opinion, Monday). After a slew of federal court losses, the administration now grudgingly exempts from its contraceptive mandate certain organizations it deems sufficiently religious. Dionne calls that concession "a clear statement that President Obama never wanted this fight."

The president and his campaign gleefully promoted this fight as a "war on women." President Obama undermined any pretense of a compelling health justification for a government mandate by unwittingly observing that 99 percent of women already access contraceptives. His health department dismissed concerns of economic consequences, blithely contending that preventing babies is cheaper than having them.

Dionne castigates the faith community for claiming First Amendment infringement since the government coercion did not restrict the "freedom to worship or to preach." The founders clearly construed the First Amendment to protect not only worship and preaching but also free exercise of conscience.

The First Amendment also protects all individuals--not merely government-certified religious institutions. Yet the administration continues to coerce conscience-objecting individual employers. Thomas Jefferson asserted, "The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God."

We shall never surrender.
Use our Freedom2Care legislative action center to tell your lawmakers to protect conscience rights.

CMDA Ethics Statement: Right of Conscience
News Release: New HHS Mandate Terms Unacceptable
February 2013- Radio interview with Todd Wilkin of Issues, Etc. on the HHS Mandate

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