The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in a press release following President Barack Obama’s backpedaling on his stance on the abortion-drug mandate, said that the Commander in Chief has only offered a false “compromise,” and that many religious organizations are still going to be forced to violate their religious ideologies.
“This is a false ‘compromise’ designed to protect the President’s re-election chances, not to protect the right of conscience,” Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund said.
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of religious institutions are still left out in the cold and will be forced to violate their religious convictions,” Smith lamented.
Smith refers to a White House statement earlier today that announced some religious employers will no longer be coerced into providing insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs.
However, coverage for all three will be provided, for free, by insurance companies.
According to Smith, this raises a trifecta of problems.
First, many religious organizations self-insure, which means that they will still be paying for services that they believe stand in stark opposition to their religious beliefs.
The second quandary is that the President has made it intentionally nebulous as to which religious organizations are exempt under the new rule and whether it will extend to for-profit organizations, individuals, or non-denominational organizations.
Lastly, Smith notes, money is considered fungible, and religious organizations may object to the idea of being forced to pay money to an insurance company that may, in turn, provide contraception to its employees free of charge.
“It is especially telling that the details of this supposed ‘compromise’ will likely not be announced until after the election. Religious freedom is not a political football to be kicked around in an election-year. Rather than providing full protection for the right of conscience, the administration has made a cynical political play that is the antithesis of ‘hope and change.’”
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