Watching The Spin

President Trump has ended the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that required employers to provide birth control for their employees even if birth control conflicts with their moral or religious objections. Before ObamaCare, employers were allowed to follow their conscience. If you worked for a Catholic organization, your medical plan did not cover birth control, and if you had a baby in a Catholic hospital, the doctors were not going to instruct you in birth control. It was simply the way things were, and most Americans got along fine under that system. ObamaCare changed that system. Now President Trump is changing it back to what it was, giving people the right to follow their conscience. Based on the outcry from the political left, you would think he was slaughtering women on live television. He is not depriving anyone of birth control–he is merely saying he is not going to force employers to pay for it if it violates their conscience.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the controversy.

The article reports:

The new rule provides full protection for Americans with religious beliefs and moral convictions and acknowledges that the contraceptive mandate concerns serious issues of moral concern, including those involving human life.

Though left-wing groups claim President Donald Trump is taking away women’s birth control – which can be purchased for relatively little expense – the Obama administration itself actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in its case against the HHS mandatenoted the Obama administration had exempted large corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling from the rule, as well as the U.S. military and large cities like New York City.

The headline for the story covered at NBC News reads, “Trump Just Made It So Employers Can Refuse to Pay for Birth Control.”

Just for the record, this isn’t really about birth control–it’s about abortion. Under ObamaCare, the morning-after pill, which causes an abortion was included in birth control. This was the first step toward government funding of abortions.

Here are a few facts on abortion from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ):

The fact of the matter is that 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s yearly clinic income – their only self-sustaining revenue source – comes from abortion, 329,445 abortions.

40 percent of all reported abortions committed in the United States occur at a Planned Parenthood clinic, making it by far the largest abortion provider in America.

…Planned Parenthood’s latest report states that it performed “11 million services during nearly five million clinical visits.” So, now their abortion number jumps to 6.6 percent of clinic visits were for abortions. That’s right 6.6 percent of all visits to Planned Parenthood result in an abortion.

Digging a little deeper, Planned Parenthood claims that all those “services” it provides only go to 3 million women. So by it’s own admission, 11 percent of the women that visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in any given year obtain an abortion there.

What about some of the other “services” Planned Parenthood claims it provides? Prenatal services (those services provided to women who choose to keep their baby) account for a measly 0.28 percent off all services provided. Moreover, the 841 adoption referrals made by Planned Parenthood in their last reported year amount to a whopping 0.0076 percent of services rendered.

The outcry over the change in the HHS Mandate is born out of fear that the abortion industry will eventually be threatened by the Trump Administration. I need to explain here that I don’t want to see abortion made illegal. However, if an abortion is medically necessary, it needs to be done in a hospital. It does not need to be part of a multi-million dollar industry.

Religious Freedom Wins A Victory

The Daily Signal today posted a story about the recent Supreme Court case regarding the Little Sisters of the Poor. I am not a lawyer and do not totally understand what I am about to report (other than the fact that it is good news for those of us who treasure the freedom to practice our religion in our daily lives).

The article reports:

In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court “vacated,” meaning erased, all of the lower court cases and required them to reconsider the claims brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor and others that the regulations promulgated pursuant to Obamacare violate their religious exercise in light of the government’s admission that it could indeed provide contraceptive coverage without the Little Sisters’ collaboration.

…The Little Sisters of the Poor and other challengers suggested, among other things, that the government could require insurance providers to make separate contraceptive plans available to employees whose employer plans do not include such coverage.

This would require a separate enrollment process along the lines of how some employers have separate dental, vision, or prescription plans, as well as separate “insurance cards, payment sources, and communication streams.”

They maintained that such “truly independent efforts to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees” would allay their religious objections because they would be removed from the process entirely.

According to the Supreme Court, “the government has confirmed” its scheme could be modified in a manner that leaves the Little Sisters of the Poor out of the process, as they requested, while still insuring women employees receive contraceptive coverage.

…The ruling means that all the lower court opinions that went against the religious freedom of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the other religious nonprofits are wiped away and their flawed reasoning cannot be used as precedent in the future.

It illustrates that the government could have accommodated the Little Sisters of the Poor all along without affecting contraceptive coverage, but chose not to. And it guarantees that the government cannot force the Little Sisters of the Poor and the other challengers to choose between violating their consciences as the government demands or face crippling fines and penalties.

In the coming months, the lower courts will reconsider these challenges, but it is hard to see how the administration and the lower courts can find a way to get around the Supreme Court’s unanimous order—making the decision a big victory for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The underlining in the quote is mine. I wanted to make sure that anyone who reads this article understands that this entire legal dust-up was unnecessary. It was another example of bullying by the Obama Administration. The Administration wanted to bully any Christian who might want to practice their faith in their mission or occupation into accepting terms of ObamaCare that are unacceptable in Christianity.

Notice also that the Supreme Court decision to ‘vacate’ the lower court cases was unanimous–even the liberal justices realized that what was done to the Little Sisters of the Poor was simply not appropriate.



When Did Our Government Begin Bullying Nuns?

Yesterday CBN News posted a story about the Supreme Court case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The article reports:

The Catholic charity was founded nearly 180 years ago to “offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ.”

In the hearing, the justices appeared to be deeply divided over the Obama administration’s plan to exempt The Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based groups from being required to pay for birth control for women insured under their health plans.

The conservative justices on the high court sounded in favor of the complaint by the groups that the administration’s exemption plan goes against their religious rights.

Where does the government get the right to force a religious organization to purchase something that goes against their religious convictions?

The American Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

This is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What the Obama Administration is attempting to do is limit the ability of the Little Sisters of the Poor to freely exercise their religious beliefs in the public square.

The article at CBN News concludes:

If the court’s ruling is a 4-4 tie, that would mean four appeals court rulings in favor of the administration would be upheld. However, in parts of the country where another appeals court agreed with the faith-based groups, different rules would apply.

Another outcome of a tie could be shelving the case until after Scalia’s replacement is seated on the bench. That scenario emphasizes the importance of the judicial leanings of any nominee to the court, an issue currently hotly contested in Washington.

Although President Barack Obama nominated his pick to replace Scalia, Republican senators are trying to stall the process until a new president is in office. Republicans hope a conservative president will then nominate someone more conservative, with leanings similar to Scalia’s.

The court is expected to rule by the end of June.

If the government can limit the religious freedom of a charity organization of nuns that has helped the elderly for 180 years, they can limit anyone’s religious freedom. Regardless of how this case is decided, the religious rights of Americans are under attack and need to be protected.

Bringing Back The Old Play Book

Why is it that when someone expresses concern about the 1.2 million babies killed in the womb in America or attempts to lower that number, they are accused of waging ‘war on women?’ It seems to me that women’s health is broader than the right to kill their offspring. Evidently this is an issue where you don’t cross the left–even if you are one of them.

U.S. News & World Report posted an op-ed piece last Tuesday by Jamie Stiehm about Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s stay order applying to an appeal by a Colorado nunnery, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The piece states that:

Justice Sotomayor undermined the new Affordable Care Act‘s sensible policy on contraception. She blocked the most simple of rules – lenient rules – that required the Little Sisters to affirm their religious beliefs against making contraception available to its members. They objected to filling out a one-page form. What could be easier than nuns claiming they don’t believe in contraception?

…Catholics in high places of power have the most trouble, I’ve noticed, practicing the separation of church and state. The pugnacious Catholic Justice, Antonin Scalia, is the most aggressive offender on the Court, but not the only one. Of course, we can’t know for sure what Sotomayor was thinking, but it seems she has joined the ranks of the five Republican Catholic men on the John Roberts Court in showing a clear religious bias when it comes to women’s rights and liberties. We can no longer be silent about this. Thomas Jefferson, the principal champion of the separation between state and church, was thinking particularly of pernicious Rome in his writings. He deeply distrusted the narrowness of Vatican hegemony.

The article is snarky at best. The writer obviously does not understand the idea that some people apply what they learn in church to their daily lives. The Catholic Church is not the only religious group that opposes abortion–they are simply the largest and most vocal. Evidently, when you disagree with the liberal view that abortion should be underwritten by the government, you are accused of not understanding or applying the concept of separation of church and state. That concept was not in the Constitution. In fact, in the early days of America, there were churches that met in the Capitol building. Our founders understood that Biblical morality would be a good foundation for our representative republic. Unfortunately, most of our current politicians have forgotten this.


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