Remember when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was pushing the 2,471-page Obamacare bill through the congress, saying, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”? Well, now that they have found out what’s in it, the nation’s Roman Catholics are not at all pleased. This week, the Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Louisville, sent a letter out to the attention of the area’s more than 200,000 Catholics, alerting them to “…an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.”
It seems that the Obama administration’s Cabinet for Health and Human Services has issued a rule—pursuant to the Obamacare law—forcing nearly all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as surgical sterilization. These are listed among "preventive services for women" that all health plans will have to cover without co-pays or other cost-sharing; regardless of whether the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman herself objects to such coverage. The new rule will require church-affiliated employers to offer health coverage that includes sterilization, contraception and so called "morning after" contraceptives that the Catholic Church says can induce abortion.
Calling the new regulations a "severe assault on religious liberty," Archbishop Kurtz urged local Catholics to contact federal lawmakers and push for a reversal of the mandate. "We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law," Kurtz said, "People of faith cannot be made second class citizens."
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, sharply criticized the decision by the Obama administration in which it "ordered almost every employer and insurer in the country to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans....Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights."
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, sharply criticized the decision by the Obama administration:
In her take on the imbroglio, “First, they came for the Catholics,” commentator Michelle Malkin observes that NARAL, NOW, Ms. Magazine, and the Feminist Majority Foundation, “…all cheered the administration’s abuse of the Obamacare law to ram abortion down pro-life medical professionals’ throats.” She quotes feminist Eleanor Smeal as gloating: “At last,” she exulted, the Left’s goal of “no-cost birth control” for all had been achieved. And she quotes leftist Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne as writing that Obama “botched” the controversy and “threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus” by refusing to “balance the competing liberty interests here.”
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