Obama Mandate About Helping Planned Parenthood, Not Birth Control

Opinion   |   Abby Johnson   |   Mar 8, 2012   |   11:39AM   |   Washington, DC

As faithful Christians, our objection to the Health and Human Services mandate the Obama administration has tried to implement is not about revoking women’s access to birth control as the media spins it.  It’s about keeping government out of religion and allowing Christian healthcare providers to exercise their right to practice medicine according to their moral guidelines; forcing private Christian healthcare providers to cover services to which they are morally opposed is a gross violation of conscience laws.

As a Christian woman, the fact that the Obama administration claims to speak on my behalf in this regard is offensive, and his claiming that 98% of Catholic women use birth control is just a flat-out lie.

As a pregnant mother, the fact that this mandate perpetuates the ideology that pregnancy is a disease (because contraception is lumped together as “preventative medicine” like cancer screenings and vaccinations) is also offensive.  I am not diseased, and pregnancy is not a sickness.  It should not be treated as such, and Christian healthcare institutions should not be forced to treat it as such, either.

Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Cecile Richards, was a key advisor in putting this mandate together, and they have teamed up with Obama to aggressively push their agenda on Christian medical providers.  Despite the fact that liberal self-identifying Catholics Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius strongly urged President Obama against trying to force the mandate, Obama took the advice of Planned Parenthood. Although this mandate threatens all Christian healthcare providers, we all know that the Obama administration has especially targeted Catholic institutions.  The Catholic Church has not budged on its position regarding artificial means of contraception in two thousand years, and it won’t bow to the demands or so-called compromises of the Obama administration now.

I want to reiterate that this retaliation is not about restricting women’s access to birth control.  If and when this mandate fails, a woman’s right to obtain birth control will not be impacted.  It is rooted in the desire to keep government out of religion, and the defense of the conscience laws and Christian healthcare providers’ rights to practice medicine within their moral and ethical boundaries.