Last Thursday, the Senate rejected by a 51-48 vote a bill that would have permitted religious employers to refuse to cover medical services that violated their moral and religious convictions. Have they even read the Bill of Rights?
Now strange things happen when issues are politicized, I know that. That’s not shocking. What is shocking — and downright shameful — is the deceitful way supporters of the administration’s mandate have framed the issue.
They say this is all about protecting women’s access to contraception. This is, folks, the biggest red herring I’ve seen in politics. It’s garbage, and they know it. Shame on them. Nobody is saying they shouldn’t have access to contraceptives. Any woman can go to virtually any drug store and purchase them. Even drugs that induce abortion. As I told you last week, these things are even available in vending machines now!
How dare Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington say that this is about “curtailing rights to access that women already have"! That’s a bold-faced misrepresentation of what’s going on here, and she and her colleagues know it.
The media is no better. The New York Times opined that the measure would have “crippled the expansion of preventive health care in America.” What hogwash! And the Times is even furthering the lie that pregnancy is akin to tuberculosis: a disease that needs to be prevented. Then the Times went on to accuse the Republicans of a relentless effort to “deny women access to essential health services.”
Give me a break!
Even worse, this intentional and vicious misinformation campaign is working. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 63 percent of Americans support requiring insurers to cover contraception, while 33 percent oppose.
How sad is it the American public is so easily duped.
Folks, women’s access to contraception is not the issue here. They have it. In spades. What’s really going on is that the Obama administration wants women to have access to FREE contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. It’s an ideological imperative for them. And such niceties as the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom just don’t matter in comparison.
Where does this end? I’m an 80-year-old man who has to take aspirin for his heart. Should the government pay for the aspirin I need? If they don’t pay for it, would they be denying my access to aspirin? Come on.
If the Obama administration has the votes to mandate free contraception, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. But the administration and its allies do not have the right to violate the First Amendment — to force religious organizations to pay for procedures or drugs that violate the tenets of their faith.
That’s why we have the Bill of Rights: to protect our fundamental freedoms. As Senator Orrin Hatch said: “When we start going down this road, beware ... that's when tyranny really begins. Those of you who vote against this amendment are playing with fire."
Folks, tell your friends, your neighbors, and your legislators that women already have complete access to contraception — and to say otherwise nothing is a deliberate misrepresentation of what’s going on.
Make no mistake: What we are witnessing is indeed the leading edge of tyranny.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: March 5, 2012