ISSN 2330-717X

Obama Pushed Us Too Far – OpEd


The Obama administration has made three strategic errors: 1) this issue is first and foremost not about contraception—it is about religious liberty 2) by mandating that Catholic entities provide coverage for abortifacients, the Obama administration has made it clear that its ultimate goal is to demand that all healthcare plans provide for abortion coverage, and 3) it seriously underestimated the clout of the bishops.


We have been inundated with support from Protestants, Jews, Mormons, and others. When the federal government seeks to impose a radical secular agenda on religious entities, denying them the right to exercise their doctrinal prerogatives, it is trampling on the First Amendment rights of the faithful.

Everyone knows that contraception is not only inexpensive, it is widely available free of charge. What the Obama administration has done by demanding that Catholic non-profits provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs is to put the camel’s nose in the tent—the slippery slope mandating that Catholic hospitals perform abortions has been stepped on.

Today’s crop of Catholic bishops, led by Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan and Bishop William Lori (he heads the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty), is more willing than ever before to engage the culture and not walk away from a fight. So Obama’s advisers really blew it big time when they counted on the usual Catholic passivity—these are not ordinary times.

We are currently weighing several options on how to proceed. No legal strategy is off the table. Stay tuned.

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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