The Obama administration, as part of its application of Obamacare, is now requiring religious institutions that provide health insurance to their employees to include health insurance coverage for contraceptives, including those that cause abortions (and thus are more properly termed “abortifacients” rather than “contraceptives”). The bottom line here is that religious organizations are being required by law to use their own funds to pay for medical services that they find morally objectionable. The Obama administration is seeking to be lord of the consciences of religious Americans.
I have several thoughts on this.
First, I recall back in 2008 that there were some voices on the evangelical left saying that a vote for Obama was a vote in favor of life. Not because Obama himself is personally pro-life (there is no way to sell that kind of argument), but because Obama would usher in a golden age of economic prosperity that would reduce the need for abortions, which are, so we were told, largely the result of poverty.
I was outraged when I heard that back in 2008, because I knew with certainty that it was a complete falsehood. I knew that if we put this man in the White House, more babies would die, and we who oppose the barbaric practice of abortion would end up picking up the tab. To those who voted for Obama and attempted to justify it as a pro-life vote, you were foolish and naive. You got sucked into the empty rhetoric and ignored the plain truth that was right before your eyes. I hope you have grown up in the last three years and now see the world through wiser eyes. And I hope you are now every bit as resolved as I am to send the Obamas back to Chicago next year so that someone else (whoever it may be) will at least have a fighting chance to untangle this Obamacare mess and roll back these pro-abortion measures.
Second, this issue is an enormous challenge to Roman Catholic organizations, not only because there are so many of them, but particularly because the Catholic Church opposes, not only abortifacients, but all manners of contraception. This is a double-blow to the consciences of faithful Catholics all over this country, who until now had a measure of constitutional protection for their ethical and religious convictions that, apparently, President Obama feels are not worthy of legal protection any longer because they do not cohere with his own personal preferences. Nevertheless, as Hugh Hewitt and Rick Santorum have recently discussed, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops had this coming because they embraced Obamacare from the beginning. Once again, foolishness and naivete have come back to bite, and it is painful when they do.
Some Catholic bishops are calling for resistance to this law, as Albert Mohler has documented. Mohler goes on to ask whether evangelical institutions will follow suit.
That brings me to my third reflection: we evangelicals must not consider this a fight for Catholics only. This is our battle too, and we must demonstrate the courage to defy an unjust law that would force us to purchase health insurance plans that would pay for the destruction of innocent human life. This is a time for civil disobedience. The Supreme Court recently gave us a solid victory for religious liberty. We should have high confidence that it will do so again in this case.
Until then, we must obey God rather than men.