The Corner

The Long Road to Eroding Religious Freedom: When President Obama Bragged About It

“Darn tooting.” 

Back in October when the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate issue was more under the radar than it is now (the announcement on January 20 was far from the first communication about it from the administration), President Obama bragged about it during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago.

From the White House transcript

And to make sure that those laws are upheld, we appointed two brilliant women to the Supreme Court.  (Applause.)  We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” so that every single American can serve their country, regardless of who they love.  (Applause.)  And, yes, we passed health care reform because no one in America should go bankrupt because somebody in their family gets sick.  (Applause.)

Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage for no good reason.  They won’t be able to deny your coverage because of preexisting conditions.  Think about what that means for families all across America.  Think about what it means for women. 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Birth control –

THE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely.  You’re stealing my line.  (Applause.)  Breast cancer, cervical cancer are no longer preexisting conditions.  No longer can insurance companies discriminate against women just because you guys are the ones who have to give birth.  (Laughter.)


THE PRESIDENT:  Darn tooting.  (Laughter.)  They have to cover things like mammograms and contraception as preventive care, no more out-of-pocket costs.  And while it will take a couple of years for all the reforms to fully take place, already we’ve got seniors all across the country who have gotten $250 to help them pay for their prescription drug benefit.  And nearly 1 million young adults already have health insurance because of it — 1 million more young people.  That’s an incredible achievement.  The Affordable Care Act is working.  (Applause.)

That the president would mock the conscience rights of Americans — Catholic bishops were already educating churchgoers in bulletin inserts, urging them to oppose the coming mandate — is not all that out of character though. Back when we were arguing about the whole of Obamacare itself and abortion funding, the president of the United States actually accused Catholic bishops of lying about the language of the proposed legislation. 

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate. And there’s some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness,” he told liberal religious activists during a conference call in the summer of 2009

And, again, it is not just Catholic bishops or Catholic pewsitters this administration is hostile to. 


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