By Dr. Paul Kengor
Last Friday, President Obama responded to Catholic bishops’ concerns over his controversial mandate compelling Catholic institutions to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing pharmaceuticals. Many media sources reported Obama’s action as an “accommodation,” with some describing it as a “reversal.” It is hardly that. Many Catholics find it arguably worse.
Without dissecting the president’s action, the overriding problem remains: We are facing a continuing creep—really, an assault—on the consciences of not only committed Roman Catholics but millions of pro-lifers when it comes to abortion. Slowly but surely, whether through taxpayer funding of abortifacients or Planned Parenthood or Planned Parenthood International or the deliberate destruction of embryos—just for starters—we are sliding down the slippery slope. I fully agree with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who believes the ultimate objective is for taxpayers—all of them, regardless of religion—to forcibly pay for women’s abortions. As a Roman Catholic intimately involved in the pro-life movement, I can report that many of us are certain that “Obama-care” is carrying us across that dark threshold.
Moreover, it pains me that the Obama administration is proceeding with far higher support among liberals than I ever imagined in America. All of my life, my pro-choice friends insisted that they simply want the “right” to an abortion. They told me to back off, to leave them alone, to allow them their “choice.” Well, they have that, and more—but apparently it isn’t enough. An alarmingly high number of them will not rest until my pro-life allies and I help pay for their decisions and send our tax dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider. It is truly shocking to watch them casually and crassly disregard or deny us the quintessentially American notion of conscience exemption.
And there, I warn them of another slippery slope they ought to consider: Do they really want to go down this road of banning conscience exemptions?