Human Exceptionalism

The Contraception Stalking Horse

It was disorienting when contraception suddenly became a political issue at the behest of Democrats during the Republican presidential primaries of 2012.

Now, it is clear why that happened (in addition to phonying up a political issue): The secular Left wishes to use the mostly uncontroversial issue of birth control as the stalking horse for using health care to remake society in its own image.

Latest evidence: An article in USC’s Religion Dispatches by Patricia Miller. The writer objects to the latest attempt by the Obamacarians to force religious non profits to to insure contraception even if that violates their faith. (Now, instead of advising their insurers about the objection, apparently such organizations will have to notify HHS, which will contact the insurance carrier.) From, “Obama Caves on (Another) Contraception Exemption:”

It’s likely that the number of employers who seek to duck the contraceptive mandate will be small. But imagine a scenario where a larger number of employers seeks to escape a costly mandate, such as equal access to in vitro fertilization procedures for straight and gay couples, for supposedly religious reasons and hundreds flood HHS with generic opt-out letters that don’t identify a specific insurer.

Or a future administration that is less dedicated to contraceptive access. It’s not hard to see how the lack of bureaucratic regularity could undermine access to contraception for women.

See the agenda? Break the back of religious freedom with the contraception mandate–to which few other than orthodox Catholics object–and then use the precedents thereby established to force religious objectors to cover abortion, assisted suicide (if legal), sex change surgery (already happening), etc..

And here’s the broader strategy: Redefine life-style enhancing “consumerist” elective procedures as “medically necessary” for insurance purposes--as California just did to force Catholic colleges to insure all abortions–and stuff it down religious traditionalists’ throats by making them pay for it.

Then when religious pro-lifers push back politically or sue, pundits like Miller squawk about bossy theocrats denying their fellow citizens’ “rights” to an abortion or a sex change (or pick your elective procedure).

Where’s the comity? Where’s the tolerance? Ah, those virtues are fast becoming one-way streets.

And that’s how you turn freedom of religion into a vestige “freedom of worship” and use health care as an authoritarian cultural bludgeon.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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