David Axelrod of the Obama campaign said yesterday 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 yesterday that “the president is very interested in finding the appropriate balance between religious beliefs and convictions.”
Both men are insincere. We know that there was division in the Obama administration when the Obama edict was being contemplated, and that the president sided with extremists like Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (anyone who raises money for a man dedicated to performing partial-birth abortions is obviously an extremist; she did so for Dr. George Tiller). 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 are pointing to a poll that shows a slight majority of Catholics supporting Obama’s plan. But the poll is flawed. As always, the question affects the outcome. 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 Obama plan mandates that Catholic entities provide abortion-inducing drugs. In short, the question was dishonest. Just wait until all Catholics find out what’s really at stake.
What Obama is doing is just an opening for mandating abortion coverage in every healthcare plan.