It is an irony that the promoters of “reproductive choice” insist on coercing everyone else into paying for other people’s abortions and sexual decisions.
Frances Kissling, founder of the misnamed “Catholics for Choice,” will appear opposite me on Monday at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County in Wausau to argue in favor of a government mandate that forces employers to violate their religious beliefs just because they operate in America.
The Obama administration is enforcing the mandate as one of the first of many coercive orders issued from Obamacare, this one including early abortion methods in health plans. Or rather, the mandate is being enforced except where it has been directly confronted in court.
The only court to rule on whether this Obamacare mandate violates religious freedom issued an injunction against it in July. The injunction protects a Catholic family business I represent through Alliance Defending Freedom.
To people familiar with the rhetoric of abortion advocates, it is not surprising that they clamor for the government to force Americans to pay for abortions as well as for drugs and devices that contracept or cause early embryo destruction. What is disturbing is that they advocate this attack on freedom under the rubric of “choice” and “conscience.” That is a bait-and-switch tactic as old as Roe v. Wade.
Roe demonstrated a similar double standard. It insisted that newly invented “rights” would never be used to force people against their consciences to facilitate abortion and contraception. But then “pro-choice” advocates began lobbying to force taxpayers to fund abortion and other practices that fill Planned Parenthood’s pocketbook.
A more modest Supreme Court later declined to twist the U.S. Constitution to force Americans to pay for abortion. But freedom of conscience caused abortionists to decline in vast numbers. So now there is a renewed push to coerce Americans to aid the sexual and abortive choices of others — a bailout, if you will, of the “choice” industry.
How could people redefine coercion and call it “freedom”? Lacking any rationale for such verbal engineering, advocates simply assert it. If the government doesn’t force you to pay for someone else’s abortion or contraception, then you — not the government — are the ones imposing on others.
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This argument, if it can be called an argument, loses in court. Not only did the Denver federal court enjoin Obamacare’s mandate, but an Arizona appeals court told Planned Parenthood last year that “a woman’s right to an abortion or to contraception does not compel a private person or entity to facilitate either.”
When you clear away the pro-abortion rhetoric, the reality is that every American should be free to do business and serve the community without violating their beliefs about the sanctity of human life and sexuality.
LifeNews Note: Matthew S. Bowman is senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.