Ramesh Ponnuru writes in the latest issue of National Review:
By November, nobody is going to remember who Sandra Fluke is. That’s what Republicans need to keep in mind as they judge the political impact of opposing the Obama administration’s latest health-care mandate. The issue is likely to help Republicans in the fall, if they can keep their wits about them."
Ponnuru offers good advice to opponents of the mandate. For example, they should start emphasizing that it's an abortion pill mandate, not merely a contraception mandate:
Opponents of the mandate can take several steps to increase their chances of persuading voters to side with them. Too many of them have acquiesced to the White House/media line that what’s at issue is a “contraceptive mandate.” The mandate also covers the drug ella, sometimes dubbed “the week-after pill,” which induces abortion. It is to the great credit of non-Catholics such as Senator Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), the sponsor of the Senate bill to overturn the mandate, that they have stood in defense of the freedom of Catholic institutions. But it is not just Catholics who object to abortion drugs, and highlighting their inclusion in the mandate would broaden the anti-mandate coalition. It is also worth noting that if the administration is correct in claiming it has the legal authority to impose this mandate, it has the authority to require coverage of surgical abortions as well. Only political prudence has stayed its hand so far.
Another angle that opponents of the mandate have failed to emphasize is that the mandate won't merely violate the consciences of "insurers" or "employers"--employees will have to violate their consciences when the government forces them to purchase insurance that pays for abortion pills.
All of the polling to date on the mandate has focused regulating "insurers," "employers," and "religious institutions." But what if a pollster asked whether "individuals" should be required to purchase insurance that pays for abortion pills?
If Americans overwhelmingly oppose the individual mandate--Obamacare's requirement to buy insurance or pay a fine--then requiring individuals to purchase insurance that covers morally objectionable services must be even more unpopular.
If it isn't repealed or struck down by the court, the individual mandate--however repugnant in principle--will only directly hit the small portion of the population that is uninsured in January 2014. In August of 2012, the abortion pill mandate will force more than half the country to purchase something they find morally objectionable.