As Catholics expressed their outrage over the Health and Human Services contraception mandate, a couple of President Obama’s spokesmen defended the healthcare plan.
Obama advisor David Axelrod said that “We certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedom, so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions.” Similarly, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that “the president is very interested in finding the appropriate balance between religious beliefs and convictions.”
Both were insincere. It is known that there was division in the Obama administration when the edict was being contemplated, but the president decided to side with extremists like Kathleen Sebelius. So they had plenty of time to figure out a way not to punish Catholics, and they still decided to drop the hammer.
White House supporters of Obama’s edict pointed to a poll that showed a slight majority of Catholics supporting the plan. But the poll was flawed. The poll never mentioned that the federal government would place sanctions on Catholic institutions if they did not comply, and that ultimately it could lead to pulling federal funds to Catholic hospitals, effectively shutting them down. Nor did the poll mention that the plan mandates that Catholic entities provide abortion-inducing drugs. In short, the question was dishonest.
Obama is just trying to open the door for the mandatory coverage of abortion in every health care plan.