Obama supporters fret he’ll grant contraception exemptions to Catholic hospitals

posted at 4:25 pm on November 29, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Alternate headline: Obama supporters fret he’ll defend religious liberty.

Just as Nancy Pelosi can’t countenance the collective Catholic conscience, so Obama supporters can’t countenance the president’s oh-so-hesitant support for religious liberty. The president has at least heard the concerns of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about a new requirement that health insurers cover abortifacients: Earlier this month, Obama met with Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the head of the USCCB. Dolan and the U.S. bishops want the president to grant Catholic hospitals an exemption from the requirement.

But now, ABC’s Jake Tapper reports, Obama supporters are concerned that — if the president does respond to the bishops’ request — he’ll lose badly-needed support from liberal women in November.

The USCCB has called the new birth control coverage requirement “an unprecedented attack on religious liberty.” So it is — and, as such, it ought to be of concern to more than just Catholics. From the very beginning, as Tim Carney excellently chronicled at The Washington Examiner, the new requirement represented the triumph of special interests over conscience protections and freedom:

This free-pills-for-all proposal embodies two dark themes of the Obama era: cronyism and trampling on the freedom of conscience.

Once again, Obama, who pretends to be battling the special interests, is rewarding powerful lobbies that support him. Even worse, the federal rule, which would effectively force everyone to purchase insurance that covers abortifacient contraceptives, also reveals the true shape of the Culture War in America: The Left uses the brutal tool of the government to impose its morality on everyone, forcing religious conservatives to act against conscience, all the while howling about imminent “theocracy.”

Pharmaceuticals are the quintessential “special interest.” Drugmakers have spent $2.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than any other industry. In the Obama era, the drug industry’s $635 million lobbying tab exceeds that of Wall Street and the oil and gas industry, combined.

For the 2010 election, as a reward for passing Obamacare, Big Pharma spent millions in ads boosting vulnerable Democratic senators including Harry Reid. Obamacare subsidized the drug companies in many ways, but it’s hard to get better than this “free contraception” rule. Obamacare requires individuals to carry insurance and forces large employers to insure their workers. It also prohibits insurance companies from turning down applicants, and subsidizes more people’s insurance.

Obama will let politics dictate his decision again. It’s up to the American people — including those liberal women who otherwise support the purchase and use of abortifacients — to demonstrate that we’d rather be free to follow our consciences, whatever those “things” might dictate to us, than have “free” contraception, which, importantly, won’t be free at all, but yet one cost driver for those who otherwise would have no need to pay for contraception coverage (think gay couples, liberals!) in the first place.


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God forbid.

Mr. Joe on November 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Lose the liberal woman vote, or lose the Catholic vote. I mean really, who else are liberal women going to support?

The choice is clear. Catholic hospitals exempt.

JetBoy on November 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

if the president does respond to the bishops’ request — he’ll lose badly-needed support from liberal women in November.

oh yeah, right….who else they gonna vote for? Newt? pfffffttt. Those dumbiotches will get thrown down the stairs and still, still they’ll both thrown their panties at, and vote for, Obama.

ted c on November 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Obama supporters are concerned that — if the president does respond to the bishops’ request — he’ll lose badly-needed support from liberal women in November.

I just don’t get liberals/leftists.

Hey, Lefties, pretend it’s a PUBLIC school banning the wearing of the US flag or a PUBLIC university setting up Muslim prayer rooms.

mankai on November 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Come on, do they really think liberal women are going to vote Republican because a few Catholic institutions get a waiver on covering abortions and contraceptives?

I think they ought to be a little more concerned about Catholics in places like southeastern Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has a new Archbishop who has spoken very loudly on these issues before. Obama has lost enought support already in PA, if he loses the Catholic vote here he is toast. And, FYI, Catholic Health East, which runs the giant Catholic health care system in the eastern half of the country, is based in suburban Philly and has about 1000 employees.

rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Dang that religious liberty!

You’d think it was enshrined in a constitution or something…

locomotivebreath1901 on November 29, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Of all the things to worry about these days, the leftist trash are concerned about Catholic hospitals being given ObamaCare waivers.

We’ll be lucky if America hasn’t descended into total chaos by this time next year.

Bishop on November 29, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Hey you liberal morons….just pretend that baby is a puppy. We’ll listen to your outrage then.

search4truth on November 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I would have loved to observe Obama with Archbishop Dolan. No contest.

DrStock on November 29, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I recall that during the ObamaCare debates my Lib friends were going on and on and on about the evils of “Big Pharma” and how “Big Pharma” was ruining everything.

Now? Well, mention “Big Pharma” and the only response you will get is a blank stare. Or maybe you might get called a racist.

visions on November 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

What would dear nan have to say? She is Catholic I understand? Is dear nan the say gal that thinks pp is just dandy?
L

letget on November 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Far too many Catholics, who claim to be pro-life, still support Obama. It makes my brain hurt trying to understand it. Even worse are the Catholic clergy who support him. You listening, John Jenkins (Notre Dame president) , you Obama-sucking bag of filth?

Extrafishy on November 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Who the hell is HE to grant or not grant such a thing!

The God I believe in is NOT pleased….

Of that, I am sure.

golfmann on November 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Of all the things to worry about these days, the leftist trash are concerned about Catholic hospitals being given ObamaCare waivers.

We’ll be lucky if America hasn’t descended into total chaos by this time next year.

Bishop on November 29, 2011 at 4:35 PM

They had better hope the bishops don’t really start getting serious. If they get pushed too far there will be a Catholic revolt in this country.

rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

We are all free to force other people to pay for our recreational activity.

Democrats definition of freedom.

No one died on a hill for that, I don’t think.

NoDonkey on November 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Who issued the requirement? Is it part of Obamacare?

Iblis on November 29, 2011 at 4:43 PM

They had better hope the bishops don’t really start getting serious. If they get pushed too far there will be a Catholic revolt in this country.
rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

What’s the overlap with union households, inner city denizens, and OWS’ers? Seems like quite a few Catholics have sold their souls right alongside the Jews to the demorat party for a few crumbs thrown their way.

Bishop on November 29, 2011 at 4:43 PM

But, Bart Stupak assured us that no tax $$ would go to pay for this sort of thing. Right? That all religious hospitals would be exempt from the healthcare provisions that forced them to support measures (Abortion, birth control) of which they were opposed as an institution based on their religious faith! Remember that toothless “Stupak Amendment”?

Oh that’s right, Stupak didn’t seek re-election b/c he would have lost his *ss just like he lost his integrity.

JAM on November 29, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Why do liberals hate human life so much?

forest on November 29, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Who issued the requirement? Is it part of Obamacare?

Iblis on November 29, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Sebelius. It was one of those 1000 provisions of the law that left discretion to the Secretary of HHS. This involves defining the minimum requirements for a basic health insurance policy that all insurers will have to offer if they want to particpate in the new health exchanges. Sebelius decided that all insurance policies must cover contraceptives. The “conscience clause” that was so touted by Obama when the law was being passed was so narrowly applied that it only applies to organizations that employ onlt Catholics and serve only Catholics. So every Catholic hospital, school, and church that employs even one non-Catholic will have to offer (and partially pay for) insurance that covers contraceptives.

rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 4:48 PM

What would dear nan have to say? She is Catholic I understand? Is dear nan the say gal that thinks pp is just dandy?
L

letget on November 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

This…

Seven Percent Solution on November 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM

What’s the overlap with union households, inner city denizens, and OWS’ers? Seems like quite a few Catholics have sold their souls right alongside the Jews to the demorat party for a few crumbs thrown their way.

Bishop on November 29, 2011 at 4:43 PM

How tragic that, to so many Catholics, the sanctity of life is negotiable.

Extrafishy on November 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM

They had better hope the bishops don’t really start getting serious. If they get pushed too far there will be a Catholic revolt in this country.

rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Many reached the “ENOUGH!” point some time ago.

Now, Obama is helping build critical mass.

roy_batty on November 29, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Even worse than this is the blatantly political decision made by Sebelius to yank the grant given for years to the USCCB for programs to help victims of sex trafficking, because she insistss that all such programs must offer contraceptives and abortion services. National Review has been covering this issue very well.

rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Those Fed folks sure do have a lot of power.

SouthernGent on November 29, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Far too many Catholics, who claim to be pro-life, still support Obama. It makes my brain hurt trying to understand it. Even worse are the Catholic clergy who support him. You listening, John Jenkins (Notre Dame president) , you Obama-sucking bag of filth?

Extrafishy on November 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

This.

I may have a few issues with my Catholic Church, but would never treat the gift of life with such disregard. God’s ultimate gift doesn’t belong in a trash can.

JetBoy on November 29, 2011 at 4:55 PM

An official with a women’s rights group says that ”birth control use is near universal, even among Catholic women. 99% of women, and 98% of Catholic women, who are sexually active use contraception at some point in their life…We are concerned that expanding the religious exemption would take away this benefit from millions of workers.”

Well, it would seem all these women are finding ways to pay for their contraceptives already. Why must insurance cover it at all?

rockmom on November 29, 2011 at 5:04 PM

I wish the church would take a greater stand against politicians, like Pelosi and Biden, and refuse to grant them communion and absolution.

Kini on November 29, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Obama tweet to Michele:

What is this self-determination they keep bringing up. Don’t they know I won?

BobMbx on November 29, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Obama wouldn’t dare force an Islamic organization to do something outside their beliefs.

The Catholic Church must ignore the dictates from this administration.

darwin on November 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I wish the church would take a greater stand against politicians, like Pelosi and Biden, and refuse to grant them communion and absolution.

Kini on November 29, 2011 at 5:08 PM

While I understand this impulse, and have had it myself on occasion, the problem is that the Church would more often than not side with the left. The church does not distinguish between an individual’s moral responsibility to help those less fortunate and government – so most bishops would back the farthest left boondoggle wealth redistribution programs out there. Indeed, if there was a strong waiver written into the law for abortion, the Catholic church would likely have been 100% behind Obamacare. And, the Church supports amnesty for illegals, etc.

So, if you want the Church more active in politics, just remember that it cuts both ways. While the Church would agree with (most) conservatives on the issues of life and gay marriage, it disagrees on just about every other issue.

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM

I wish the church would take a greater stand against politicians, like Pelosi and Biden, and refuse to grant them communion and absolution.

Kini on November 29, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I’ve always been torn on that…Supporting abortion legislation as a politician isn’t quite as bad as having or providing an abortion. It’s that “church and state” thing. But if The Church decided to take a stronger stance as you mention, I could only support it. I don’t know what was said during the pope’s powwow with our good Madame Pelosi, but it doesn’t get too much “stronger” than the pope himself.

JetBoy on November 29, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Well put.

JetBoy on November 29, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Wonder if folks have considered where they will go if the Catholic Hospitals were to close down?

GarandFan on November 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

And some folks think the battle isn’t between God and the powers and principalities. The left knows their enemy -

Don L on November 29, 2011 at 5:29 PM

also, the Catholic Church better wake up & smell the roses. the Democrats want to change the tax code to limit charitable deductions in many instances. Or does the Church think the govt will pay for their infrastructure?

kelley in virginia on November 29, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I read teh article via Free Republic. I’ve somewhat been following the issue at the Catholic News Agency, but what I find troubling about the piece is that ABC uses Carol Keehan as a source for a POV on the issue. She defied the Church by splitting hairs on abortion, just like many liberal Catholics (in other words, non-practicing Catholics) do.

madmonkphotog on November 29, 2011 at 5:35 PM

While the Church would agree with (most) conservatives on the issues of life and gay marriage, it disagrees on just about every other issue.

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM

If you bother to research the “Catholic” principle of subsidiarity, you’ll find the Church is solidly conservative about big government being undesirable and as far as money -people can’t be charitable without it.

Don’t confuse the leftists in the American Church with the Roman Catholic Church – those folks honoring Obama at Notre Dame and covering “Christ” at Georgetown are not the Church.

Don L on November 29, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I thought that was above his pay grade?

right2bright on November 29, 2011 at 5:37 PM

The plan all along was to seize all Catholic hospitals. Obama’s getting cold feet now? Good.

theCork on November 29, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Don’t confuse the leftists in the American Church with the Roman Catholic Church – those folks honoring Obama at Notre Dame and covering “Christ” at Georgetown are not the Church.

Don L on November 29, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Oh really? That is why the Catholic church for decades have backed every South American dictator…the Catholic Church is a Church bent on creating socialism across the globe, no other government entity is so vested in socialism.
Why most every church is a sanctuary church for illegals…sorry pal, a great and historical church they are, conservative they are not.

right2bright on November 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Maybe it would be easier to just declare everyone and everything exempt from Obamacare than to go through the bother of repealing it.

peski on November 29, 2011 at 5:51 PM

The church does not distinguish between an individual’s moral responsibility to help those less fortunate and government – so most bishops would back the farthest left boondoggle wealth redistribution programs out there.

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM

And that is the rub. I had a priest the other day tell me that Jesus was a Socialist. Why he believes that Jesus would be for taking money at gunpoint from people who earned it, run said money through several layers of bureacracy, and give what little is left to people who can fill out the correct forms (in triplicate) reguardless of need or merit, is beyond me. Especially considering the Gospel of the day was the Parable of the Talents and his sermon was on that. So I said, “I think Jesus would take the worthless slackers who are unwilling to work, give their money to the rich who are working for it, and throw the slackers into Gehenna, just like He said He would in today’s Gospel.”

Father was a little shocked at that and just walked off. But hey, I think a lot of people who think the government should do everything just don’t want people to come around begging them to help. They don’t want to see people suffer, but they don’t actually want to go out and serve people. And when they have a “government program” to fix it, then they don’t have to volunteer or take time out of their day.

People have tried to make government take the place of Christian (or any other) kind of charity. But government is souless and can’t find the real needs of people or guard against corruption and greed like someone who is actually giving of their own personal funds would.

The fact that people actually think that government should be “helping” is, to me, an incidctment on the job we as Christians are doing in the charity department. If Christians we doing their duty as Christians, there would be no need for government programs.

Lily on November 29, 2011 at 5:55 PM

While the Church would agree with (most) conservatives on the issues of life and gay marriage, it disagrees on just about every other issue.

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM

a great and historical church they are, conservative they are not.

right2bright on November 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Yep. Not unlike the Episcopalians – “social justice”, “gender equality”, etc., are their major focus in terms of “mission”. The Roman church may have pulled back from its disastrous experiment with free gay love in the seminaries since Vatican II, but it ain’t anything like conservative except on a few doctrinal issues like abortion.

peski on November 29, 2011 at 5:56 PM

If you bother to research the “Catholic” principle of subsidiarity, you’ll find the Church is solidly conservative about big government being undesirable and as far as money -people can’t be charitable without it.

Don’t confuse the leftists in the American Church with the Roman Catholic Church – those folks honoring Obama at Notre Dame and covering “Christ” at Georgetown are not the Church.

Don L on November 29, 2011 at 5:36 PM

A) – I am Catholic.
B) the people who are appointed to high positions in the Church reflect the Church’s thinking on issues. The fact that is that most bishops support various liberal entitlement schemes. The Church – from the Vatican – has issued statements against immigration laws. the Church backs a kind of Marxist theology in South America. the fact that America’s Bishops routinely come out in favor of various liberal schemes indicates that the church backs those positions.

You cannot differentiate “the Church” from the people who run the church. One can certainly look at the Church’s dogma and teachings as being much more in-line with American Conservatism as it relates to the role of Gov’t. But, most of the people who run the Church worldwide – bishops, cardinals, priests – agree more with liberalism.

So, you may technically make an argument for your position based on Church tenets and the gospels. However, the reality is that those who decide what the Church’s positions are on any given topic don’t tend to agree with you – based on actual people they appoint and statements from the Church.

Let’s not forget also about the lavender mafia that took over the priesthood in the last 50 years. There are a lot of extremely liberal priests. My cousin is one of them (not of the lavender variety, but extremely liberal).

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Lily on November 29, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Exactly.

Monkeytoe on November 29, 2011 at 5:59 PM

What Lord Obama giveth, Lord Obama can taketh away.

Little Boomer on November 29, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Those Fed folks sure do have a lot of power.

SouthernGent on November 29, 2011 at 4:55 PM

lol … *double facepalm*

Axe on November 29, 2011 at 6:03 PM

the Catholic Church is a Church bent on creating socialism across the globe, no other government entity is so vested in socialism.

right2bright on November 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Right, that is why, hand in hand with Reagan, the Pope had a major role in destroying communism in Poland and the USSR, basically dismantling the soviet bloc.

neuquenguy on November 29, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Especially considering the Gospel of the day was the Parable of the Talents and his sermon was on that. So I said, “I think Jesus would take the worthless slackers who are unwilling to work, give their money to the rich who are working for it, and throw the slackers into Gehenna, just like He said He would in today’s Gospel.”…
People have tried to make government take the place of Christian (or any other) kind of charity. But government is souless and can’t find the real needs of people or guard against corruption and greed like someone who is actually giving of their own personal funds would.

The fact that people actually think that government should be “helping” is, to me, an incidctment on the job we as Christians are doing in the charity department. If Christians we doing their duty as Christians, there would be no need for government programs.

Lily on November 29, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Well said.

peski on November 29, 2011 at 6:10 PM

The fact that people actually think that government should be “helping” is, to me, an incidctment on the job we as Christians are doing in the charity department. If Christians we doing their duty as Christians, there would be no need for government programs.

Lily on November 29, 2011 at 5:55 PM

One of my big, longstanding arguments. We leave a hole, then someone quite worse follows behind us and offers to fill it.

They literally troll young women into sex traffic with a few kind words on the street and a few promises to help them with their immediate problems.

But we don’t have the ability to do what we’re supposed to do alone. I think this comes from putting one foot in the world and one out of it, and saying “no big deal” all the time. “We” wanted the world to like us. And it did: as long as we did what it wanted.

So, now what?

Axe on November 29, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Oh really? That is why the Catholic church for decades have backed every South American dictator…the Catholic Church is a Church bent on creating socialism across the globe, no other government entity is so vested in socialism.
Why most every church is a sanctuary church for illegals…sorry pal, a great and historical church they are, conservative they are not.

right2bright on November 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Liberation theology has been firmly trounced by the Church.

“The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person – every person – needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) – a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.”

Pope Benedict, Deus Caritas Est

In other words, an income tax deduction for good works is OK, but Government assumption of “charity” is not.

unclesmrgol on November 29, 2011 at 6:24 PM

So, now what?

Axe on November 29, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Which is what we should all be doing anyway. If everyone took their Christian duty seriously, it would help a lot.

Lily on November 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

To those wondering about the Church’s stand against Marxism, here are a few more words from Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on Marxist Liberation Theology.

“In its positive meaning the Church of the poor signifies the preference given to the poor, without exclusion, whatever the form of their poverty, because they are preferred by God…But the theologies of liberation…go on to a disastrous confusion between the poor of the Scripture and the proletariat of Marx. In this way they pervert the Christian meaning of the poor, and they transform the fight for the rights of the poor into a class fight within the ideological perspective of the class struggle.”

And my favorite:

Where the Marxist ideology of liberation had been consistently applied, a total lack of freedom had developed, whose horrors were now laid bare before the eyes of the entire world. Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.

pannw on November 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM

If you bother to research the “Catholic” principle of subsidiarity, you’ll find the Church is solidly conservative about big government being undesirable and as far as money -people can’t be charitable without it.

Bingo. Seeing as communism/socialism/Nazism (a/k/a the inevitable conclusion of big government) slaughtered tens of thousands of Catholics in pursuit of a statist utopia, it’s stupid and historically illiterate to think the Catholic Church supports big government in any form.

englishqueen01 on November 29, 2011 at 9:04 PM

englishqueen01 on November 29, 2011 at 9:04 PM

See: Living Wage, the state must set wages and it’s a sin to believe that RCism should not be “the religion of the state to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.”

mankai on November 29, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Where the Marxist ideology of liberation had been consistently applied, a total lack of freedom had developed, whose horrors were now laid bare before the eyes of the entire world. Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.

pannw on November 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Clearly, his Bishops don’t believe this.

Extrafishy on November 30, 2011 at 5:39 AM

Where the Marxist ideology of liberation had been consistently applied, a total lack of freedom had developed, whose horrors were now laid bare before the eyes of the entire world. Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.

pannw on November 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Didn’t mean to strike but to quote. Hit the wrong key (that never happens).

Extrafishy on November 30, 2011 at 5:41 AM