On January 20, the Obama administration announced it was moving forward with its original “Obamacare” policy mandating that most religious employers cover contraception and sterilization services (including abortifacients) in their healthcare plans. We immediately hit back.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that aside from houses of worship, all other religious agencies and organizations would be required to provide sterilization and contraceptive services, including abortifacients, in their employee healthcare plans; none will be allowed to charge co-pays or deductibles. The policy goes into effect in August 2013 for these entities; all others will be required to provide these services in August 2012.

Sebelius explained how her directive applies to non-church religious entities such as Catholic hospitals and universities: “Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.” She also said, “I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”

With stunning magnanimity, Sebelius told Catholic non-profits that they could take advantage of their one-year reprieve as long as they seek the blessings of the federal government. If they pass muster with the bureaucrats, then they have time to figure out how they can prostitute their religiously grounded convictions, or prepare for bankruptcy. To top things off, after shoving the radical secular agenda down the throat of Catholics, Sebelius congratulated the Obama administration for striking a “balance” between religious liberty and Obamacare. But, of course, no balance was struck: the edict granted nothing to those who believe in religious liberty.

That this dictatorial edict was announced in an election year indicated both contempt for the First Amendment and stupidity.

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