Well, we had one Friday, in regard to the Department of Health and Human Services’ abortion-inducing drug, sterilization, and contraception mandate that goes into effect for some come August 1. But a Politico report today claims that Republicans have backed off the fight: “Remember last spring, when Republicans were on a mission to repeal the rule requiring employers to cover birth control? When Speaker John Boehner said on the House floor that “[t]his attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand”? Well, with the rule set to kick in Wednesday for most employers, the fiery talk of repealing this part of Obamacare has for the most part faded from the Hill.”
Transitioning to reporting on Judge Kane’s Friday ruling for the Newland family in Denver, “Morning Score” begins: “While Republicans have largely toned down their opposition . . . ”
The fight for religious liberty continues. The speaker of the House and the Republican running for president both made statements about the HHS mandate on Friday. Members’ talking about the issue is not a one-day perfunctory event – it’s been a consistent education campaign for some. And the threat facing businesses and religious service organizations, among others, continues, as a whole new definition of religious liberty will be in effect come Wednesday.
The contrast between Politico (They’ve given up doing anything of substance to hurt women or protect their precious freedom) and the New York Times (Look at them! They still are at war against women!) is a reminder that it’s hard to win with one house of Congress and a president who is determined to define religious liberty and health care as he believes is in your best interest, as I wrote here on Friday.
A freestanding vote in the House isn’t going to fix everything. And it may not fix anything, frankly, at this point in history. If we make some changes in November, we can have the political, national moment that we need — to restore liberty and to pass health-care reform that is not so hostile to individual conscience and, perversely, even life itself.