Obama Faith Council Member Attacks Bishops Over HHS Mandate

National   |   Andrew Bair   |   Jun 7, 2012   |   10:19AM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion advocate Rev. Harry Knox, appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will be taking the reins as the President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a pro-abortion organization that targets people of faith.

Knox says of his new position, “There is no more vital work to be done in this historic moment than stopping the rollback of women’s access to health care and self-determination.”

President Obama’s appointment of Knox caused a hailstorm of controversy within the Catholic community. With little to no coverage by the mainstream media, Knox was criticized by Catholic leaders for characterizing Pope Benedict XVI as a “discredited leader” and the pro-life Knights of Columbus as “foot soldiers” in an “army of oppression.”  In February 2010, Knox claimed the Pope was “hurting people in the name of Jesus.” Despite calls for his resignation, a White House spokesman then said, “the president is comfortable with the makeup of his faith advisory council.”

Ironically, Knox has penned an editorial in the Huffington Post in which he attacks the tone of pro-life religious leaders. He criticizes what he calls, “the harsh and condemning judgments of some religious leaders.”

“Women’s reproductive rights have been so stigmatized and stripped of moral value by certain religious leaders that it can be difficult to speak up. Ongoing opposition to comprehensive contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and their allies is the latest example of stigmatizing women’s health care.”

While most people of faith are focused on fighting the Obama HHS Mandate, which compels religious institutions to cover drugs or procedures in their insurance plans, which violate their moral convictions, Knox believes the real threat to religious freedom is the pro-life movement.

Knox believes putting limitations on abortion would amount to a violation of his religious freedom because his personal faith tells him abortion should be legal in all circumstances. He write, “Since religions have varying views about reproductive rights, enshrining any one view into law restricts the ability of those who disagree to follow their own conscience and religious beliefs — thus denying them religious freedom.”

Knox also accuses pro-life religious leaders of abandoning pregnant women in need and shaming women who have had abortions. If Knox were not so steeped in pro-abortion ideology perhaps he could see the reality is precisely the opposite.

Pro-life groups, whether affiliated with a particular religion or not, are at the forefront of providing women the vital resources they need to help them and their unborn children. Across the country, pro-life advocates by the thousands are manning pregnancy resource centers, which are often faith-based. These centers provide pregnant mothers with life-affirming solutions, which respect them and their children. They offer a range of assistance for these mothers including housing, medical needs, baby supplies and educational opportunities.



Meanwhile, abortion advocates like Knox are leading the charge against these resources. In cities like San Francisco, New York, Baltimore and others, abortion advocates have sought to enact laws to shut down pregnancy centers. In states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Texas where some pregnancy centers are eligible to receive state funding, abortion advocates have fought tooth and nail to deny them funding.

Pro-life organizations like Rachel’s Vineyard and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign work tirelessly in efforts to reach out to women who have experienced the pain of abortion. Thousands of post-abortive women have found new purpose and healing through these programs. Meanwhile, abortion advocates do absolutely nothing to comfort women who are deeply hurt by their abortion. In fact, many abortion advocates deny there can be any negative repercussions following abortion.  When it comes to who is abandoning women in need, Knox could not have it more backwards.