Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds to what Massachusetts senatorial hopeful Martha Coakley said last night in a WBSM interview:

When Martha Coakley, a Roman Catholic, was asked whether she supports conscience rights for health care employees, she offered a resounding “NO.” So completely wedded to the extremists in the pro-abortion community, Coakley would not allow Catholic doctors and nurses—who unlike her accept the teachings of Catholicism—to recuse themselves from participating in procedures they find morally repugnant.

Coakley said that if she were asked to consider a bill that would say “if people believe that they don’t want to provide services that are required under the law and under Roe v. Wade, that they can individually decide to not follow the law. The answer is no.” When asked by host Ken Pittman about the rights of Catholics who follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, Coakley offered the separation of church and state mantra. Pittman then said, “In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.” Coakley conceded that point but hastened to add, “you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.” Translated: You really don’t have a right to exercise your religious-liberty objections.

This is the opinion of the attorney general, the chief law enforcement agent in the state of Massachusetts. She effectively told practicing Catholics who work in the health care industry that they ought to get another job. As far as she is concerned, those who invoke a right to conscientious objection—a staple of religious liberty—should lose.

President Obama says he supports conscience rights for health care workers. The Catholic bishops support conscience rights. Survey after survey show that the American people support conscience rights. But Martha Coakley does not—she says they’re all wrong. Glad to know which side of religious liberty she is on.

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