I presume that Mr. Robinson’s letter pertains to the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring employers to pay for health plans that furnish birth control, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization procedures for their employees, and the Catholic Church’s opposition to it. Let me be clear: This resistance to the mandate isn’t about a woman’s right to use birth control, abortion-inducing drugs or sterilization procedures. This is about the rights of Catholic Americans and all people of faith to follow their consciences.
For the record, Catholics care deeply about freedom. In fact, we are fighting this mandate because it violates our religious freedom. This is about Catholics’ right to refuse to pay for those procedures and drugs they deem immoral.
This mandate would force a Catholic charity, school or hospital – even those that didn’t take a dime in government money – to provide coverage that violates their consciences. That is simply unfair and a violation of the First Amendment, which states clearly that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”