This comes straight from the White House blog, does anyone check on this website? Well, I did and for curious reasons wanted to know what the White House was publishing for the world to see on this issue. I found it completely one-sided, certainly not balanced, but I'll let you be the judge.
Written by Jennifer Palmieri:
On Friday, President Obama announced that his Administration will implement a policy that accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women. Under the new policy, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services – no matter where she works. And as previously announced, churches and houses of worship will be exempt from the requirement to refer or provide coverage for contraception. But if a woman’s employer is a charity, hospital or other religious organization that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, her insurance company – and not the hospital or charity – will be required to reach out and offer her contraceptive care free of charge.
This policy has earned praise from a wide range of individuals and organizations, including many organizations that will be directly affected by this policy. Here’s what people are saying:
Catholic Health Association
“The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions. The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed.”
“Catholic Charities USA welcomes the Administration’s attempt to meet the concerns of the religious community and we look forward to reviewing the final language. We are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction and are committed to continuing our work to ensure that our religious institutions will continue to be granted the freedom to remain faithful to our beliefs, while also being committed to providing access to quality healthcare for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.”
Rev. John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame
“We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.”
“In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work. We believe the compliance mechanism does not compromise a woman’s ability to access these critical birth control benefits.”
“Catholics United has been calling on both sides of this heated debate to work towards today's win-win solution. President Obama has shown us that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic institutions."
Congressman John Larson
“As a strong supporter of healthcare reform and the plan to provide free preventative care - including contraception - to all Americans, I want to applaud President Obama for finding a path forward to provide coverage to everyone while addressing the conscience concerns of religiously-affiliated organizations.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America
“Today’s announcement makes it clear that President Obama is firmly committed to protecting women’s health.”
Senator Barbara Boxer
"The President has made clear that we can – and must – protect women's health and the religious freedom of all. The fact that groups from Planned Parenthood to the Catholic Health Association support this policy should put an end to the vicious political attacks and allow us all to focus on providing these critical health benefits to millions of American women and families."
Broad Coalition of Faith Community Leaders“Today the Obama administration announced an important regulation that will protect the conscience rights of religious organizations and ensure that all women have access to contraception without a co-payment. We applaud the White House for listening carefully to the concerns raised by religious leaders on an issue that has provoked heated and often misinformed debate. This ruling is a major victory for religious liberty and women’s health. President Obama has demonstrated that these core values do not have to be in conflict.”
Jennifer Palmieri is White House Deputy Communications Director
Ok, now let's break this blog post down:
1. It's only happy-happy stuff, praise and continued worship of the current POTUS
2. Let's look at these chosen few able to express their opinions:
Catholic health association: Not sure about this organization UPDATE: My suspicion was right, see this:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/jun/10060413 and this: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sr.-keehan-thanks-pro-choice-group-for-support-asks-it-to-spend-funds-in-ch
Catholic Charities: Not sure about this one either.....here in Greenville,NC, it's director is a non-Catholic
NARAL Pro-Choice: National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Well of course they're going to be happy.
Rev. John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame: Well remember graduation a few yrs ago. Notre Dame has also, due to this err in Jenkins' judgement lost it's Catholic rating.
Planned Parenthood: Their opinion is no surprise
Cong John Larson: Well, he's a Democrat and strong supporter of the Healthcare reform...nuff said.
Catholics United: A totally dissented group of people, check out Catholic Culture.org's rating of RED
Senator Barbara Boxer....... REAlly??? are we surprised by her?
Broad Coalition of Faith Community Leaders: Who are these people??
How about what the other side, let’s hear what they have to say, like:
Cardinal Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC?
Statement on White House announcement on the HHS mandate
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
February 10, 2012
“Today’s announcement by President Barack Obama on the Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring individual and institutional support for abortifacients, sterilization and contraceptives suggests that the administration may be open to considering concerns about religious freedom. Certainly, the details of any proposed revision to the regulation will have to be studied once they are available. At first reading, significant concerns remain.
“What has become very clear since the final HHS mandate was issued three weeks ago is that Catholics and non-Catholics of all persuasions are united in the conviction that religious liberty must be respected. Regardless of whether or not they agree with Church teaching on a particular issue, people believe strongly that the government should not force the Church and its institutions to do things it considers morally wrong. Hopefully, the ultimate resolution of this issue will reflect this longstanding American principle. No matter the outcome, we must continue to be vigilant against the encroachment of government on the free exercise of religion.”
Bishops Renew Call to Legislative Action on Religious Liberty
February 10, 2012Regulatory changes limited and unclearWASHINGTON – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued the following statement:
Rescission of mandate only complete solution
Continue urging passage of Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
Rescission of mandate only complete solution
Continue urging passage of Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
The Catholic bishops have long supported access to life-affirming healthcare for all, and the conscience rights of everyone involved in the complex process of providing that healthcare. That is why we raised two serious objections to the "preventive services" regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in August 2011.
First, we objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen—to cover sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion. All the other mandated "preventive services" prevent disease, and pregnancy is not a disease. Moreover, forcing plans to cover abortifacients violates existing federal conscience laws. Therefore, we called for the rescission of the mandate altogether.
Second, we explained that the mandate would impose a burden of unprecedented reach and severity on the consciences of those who consider such "services" immoral: insurers forced to write policies including this coverage; employers and schools forced to sponsor and subsidize the coverage; and individual employees and students forced to pay premiums for the coverage. We therefore urged HHS, if it insisted on keeping the mandate, to provide a conscience exemption for all of these stakeholders—not just the extremely small subset of "religious employers" that HHS proposed to exempt initially.
Today, the President has done two things.
First, he has decided to retain HHS's nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients. This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern. We cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty.
Second, the President has announced some changes in how that mandate will be administered, which is still unclear in its details. As far as we can tell at this point, the change appears to have the following basic contours:
•It would still mandate that all insurers must include coverage for the objectionable services in all the policies they would write. At this point, it would appear that self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate.
•It would allow non-profit, religious employers to declare that they do not offer such coverage. But the employee and insurer may separately agree to add that coverage. The employee would not have to pay any additional amount to obtain this coverage, and the coverage would be provided as a part of the employer's policy, not as a separate rider.
•Finally, we are told that the one-year extension on the effective date (from August 1, 2012 to August 1, 2013) is available to any non-profit religious employer who desires it, without any government application or approval process.
These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer's plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.
We just received information about this proposal for the first time this morning; we were not consulted in advance. Some information we have is in writing and some is oral. We will, of course, continue to press for the greatest conscience protection we can secure from the Executive Branch. But stepping away from the particulars, we note that today's proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.
We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all.
David Limbaugh, wrote on Feb 10th for AFA.org
"...Once again, he must think he can placate opponents by patting them on the head and telling them they just need to settle down, see the superior wisdom and morality of his position, and understand that everything will be fine if they'll just believe in him. Yes, that's right; the Post reports that administration officials are telling liberal groups and lawmakers that Obama is not backing down from his hard-line position on the rule, but assuring "religious groups that a phase-in period will allow the two sides to agree on an approach to putting the rule into practice."
You see, in Obama's grandiose world -- in which rhetoric, sophism and endless speechifying reign supreme -- every impasse can be breached with his miraculously penetrating silver tongue.
But this time, as has been increasingly the case for the hapless, unreflective Obama, his obfuscation will not work. As Anthony R. Picarello Jr., general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, "so far, (the administration's promise to) 'work this thing through' is just the sugar-coated version of 'force you to comply.'
Indeed, this authoritarian administration prohibited a Catholic Army chaplain from reading a letter by Timothy Broglio -- archbishop of the Military Services, USA -- criticizing the mandate because with it, "the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States" in a way that is "denying Catholics our Nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty."
One way or another -- either by backing down or by facing an electoral spanking -- Obama will not win this one. With the backlash he is inviting, he might finally learn the limits of his mythical magic.
David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert in law and politics and author of new book Crimes Against Liberty, the definitive chronicle of Barack Obama's devastating term in office so far.
Eternal Word Television Network:
"We had no other option but to take this to the courts," says EWTN President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw. "Under the HHS mandate, EWTN is being forced by the government to make a choice: either we provide employees coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and violate our conscience or offer our employees and their families no health insurance coverage at all. Neither of those choices is acceptable.
Focus on the Family, spokesperson, Carrie Gordon Earl, February 13, 2012
“This is a repackaging of the same problem…Changing the accounting mechanism doesn’t eliminate the violation of the religious freedom we have here.”