by Matt Lacy –
While President Obama says he has announced a solution over a controversial requirement that religious institutions provide contraceptive services regardless of their personal beliefs, in reality nothing has changed.
Earlier today, President Obama said he was going to balance the rights of Americans to freely practice their religious tenets with the “rights” of women to have access to contraceptive care which includes abortion inducing drugs.
In announcing the “accommodation” Obama said that any charity or religious institution opposed to contraception will not have to offer the service as part of their insurance coverage. Instead the insurance companies would be required to reach out to the employees of the religious organization and freely offer contraceptive services to women “without co-pays and without hassles.”
However, the rule actually does not change anything. In a conference call this morning, White House officials said that birth control and abortion inducing drugs are now “part of the bundle of services that all insurance companies are required to offer.”
In other words, religious institutions providing health insurance will have to purchase policies that contain contraceptive services, the difference is the services are no longer considered to be an optional add-on that employers pay extra for, but are now part of the basic package.
In announcing the new policy Obama said those who were critical of requiring religious groups to provide the coverage were attempting to create a “political wedge.”
“I understand that some folks in Washington may want to treat this as a political wedge issue, but it shouldn’t be. I certainly never saw it that way.”
While, according to Obama, any charity or religious institution opposed to contraception will not have to violate its conscience, there apparently is no such exemption for Christian employers.
The administration insisted the policy was not a compromise on the issue but simply an “accommodation.” The statement was an attempt to placate pro-abortion groups who have long argued there should be no religious exemptions of any kind. Planned Parenthood has said it is pleased with the new policy.
The issue began to reach critical mass last week, with Catholic priests reading letters in their pulpit from the Church indicating strong opposition to the new rule and declaring they had no intention of obeying the unjust law.
Obama was also facing dissension from within his own ranks. Vice-President Joe Biden, then chief of staff Bill Daley and Denis McDonough, deputy national security advisor, who are all Catholics, expressed concerns over the administration’s handling of the issue.
At no time did Obama offer any type of apology for his Constitutional overreach by using the power of the government to violate their conscience, but instead appeared to attempt to blame the issue on religious leaders for being impatient and unreasonable.
“I spoke directly with various Catholic officials and I promised that before finalizing the rule as it applied to them, we would spend the next year working with institutions like Catholic hospitals and universities to find an equitable solution that protects religious liberty and provides every woman with the care she needs,” Obama said. There was a “cynical desire on the part of some to make this a political football [and] it became clear that spending months to resolve this would not be an option.”
Appearing on Fox News, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, called the issue critical to women and that there would be no cost to implement the new rule calling it a “no-cost strategy.”
Tags: abortion, anything, birth, care, Catholic, Constitutional, coverage, Fox News, insurance, issue, Joe Biden, law, Matt Lacy, Obama, part, planned parenthood, policy, solution, Vice President Joe Biden, word