By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/20/2012 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A key supporter is abandoning the Obama camp. The Catholic Health Association has withdrawn its support for Obama's contraception mandate, which religious groups and First Amendment advocates say violates the Constitution and freedom of conscience.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the Catholic Health Association (CHA) initially supported the Health and Human Services (HHS) edict which required free contraception including abortifacients, that support has been withdrawn.
The CHA explained in a letter to the administration that suggested compromises to allay First Amendment concerns were inadequate.
The HHS edict originally required that contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization be provided free of charge to women. When religious organizations complained that this would make them unwilling partners in immoral behavior, the administration offered a false compromise, saying churches could be exempted. However, the "compromise" did nothing to help other religious institutions, including Catholic colleges and hospitals, which would still be required to pay for such coverage.
The edict makes all those who pay into insurance programs unwilling participants in morally reprehensible behavior because their payments are used to finance such activities. To this, the administration claims that the money for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilizations would come from other sources, but such a statement is disingenuous at best. Money is fungible and payments in one area free funds that can be spent in another.
The CHA originally supported the compromise, a decision which cost it support and drew criticism from Church fathers. Despite backlash from Obama, Roman Catholic bishops have led a campaign both in public and in court to nullify the edict.
For its part, the CHA has asked the administration to revise its position further to include all different kinds of religiously affiliated institutions. The letter read in part, "We remain deeply concerned. with the approach the Administration has taken with respect to contraceptive services, especially abortifacient drugs and sterilization."
Obama's response to this matters. Catholics are likely the nation's largest bloc of swing voters, and Obama won the 2008 election with Catholic support. He has so far thanked them by passing edicts and legislation that costs lives, money, and freedom. At the current rate, it is unlikely he will carry the bloc in 2012, thus leaving him looking for new supporters to keep him in office.
It is unlikely they are out there. Obama has chosen to alienate Catholic swing voters in favor of bolstering his weakening base. Last month the president announced that his belief in traditional marriage had "evolved" and he became an advocate of the homosexual equivalency movement, a choice that makes him even more unpalatable for mainstream voters.
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