Obamacare Will Mandate Free Coverage of Abortion Drug & Contraception Without Religious Exemption
2:03 PM, Jan 20, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but the Obama administration has decided to move forward with its mandate that private insurance companies must provide "free" coverage of contraception and sterilization procedures, as well as an abortion pill called "ella"--which is much friendlier sounding than its "close chemical relative" RU-486.
Religious organizations had pushed for a conscience exemption, but the Obama administration has denied their request. "The Obama administration will allow religious organizations a one-year delay before they must comply with a new rule requiring employers that offer workers health insurance to include access to contraception with no out-of-pocket cost," the Washington Post reports. That means that employers opposed to abortion--even Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities--will be required to provide health care coverage that they find morally objectionable. The Obamacare rule does retain a very narrow exemption for houses of worship.
As blogger Matthew Yglesias noted in August when the Obama administration first proposed this mandate, "the practical impact will be higher premiums, resulting in cross-subsidy of birth control by people who don’t use birth control." As Jeffrey H. Anderson wrote at the time:
A Rasmussen poll from August found that 39% of voters favored forcing health insurers to cover contraception, while 46% were opposed and 15% were undecided. Though the contraception mandate is not terribly popular, it's not nearly as unpopular as Obamacare's coverage of taxpayer-funded abortions. A Quinnipiac poll conducted during the debate on Obamacare found that 72% of voters opposed using public funds to pay for abortions under Obamacare.
Update: The United States Council of Catholic bishops condemn the Obama administration's decision as "literally unconscionable":