The Corner

Has the House Lost Its Nerve on Defending Conscience Rights?

The New York Times suggests so today, but an aide to the speaker suggests something else. Boehner’s office tells me the HHS mandate marks a “full-scale attack on religious freedom in America. It has to be reversed.”

“The speaker said — in the same February floor speech the New York Times references in its story — that the House would address the matter carefully and deliberately. And that’s what the House has been doing,” the aide tells me.” The speaker’s goal is not to make a political statement with a vote, but rather to enact a solution that will restore the religious freedoms that have been trampled by this Obamacare mandate. When there is a consensus among stakeholders and members on a legislative remedy that will accomplish that objective, the House will proceed.”

The spokesman adds: ”It’s also notable that the Times — like most other major media entities reporting on the government’s attack on religious freedom — makes no mention of the fact that the Obamacare mandate requires religious employers and individuals to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization. The Catholic bishops note this in literally every statement they make on the topic, but somehow it is almost never mentioned in the media coverage.”

Thank the speaker’s office before the day is through, encouraging him and your representative to take up Jeff Fortenberry’s conscience-protection legislation. It’s the right thing to do, and even a winning issue.

We know the Catholic bishops won’t back down. I wouldn’t count on the House surrendering either. Certainly encourage your member to consider the implications of this erosion of religious freedom the Obama administration has insisted on. 

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