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Give Me Liberty!

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When the Pilgrims left their homes in England and landed on Plymouth Rock, it wasn’t to ensure protection of their “reproductive rights.”  When Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” the freedom of which he spoke was not the provision of free access to contraceptives from all employers. And when the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, it wasn’t so that Catholic hospitals and charities would have to pay for something they believed was morally wrong. Our Founding Fathers came to this country to gain freedom, something which the Obama Administration has shown little regard for lately.

In the weeks following President Obama’s contraception mandate and its subsequent so-called “compromise,” there has been a clear divide between parties as the left tries to characterize this issue as a “women’s reproductive rights” issue, and the right has maintained that this is clearly a question of religious liberty. The problem is that liberals simply refuse to look at the facts in front of them which prove that this is not about “reproductive rights” or even about contraception.  The Catholic bishops are not asking the government to ban contraception, and there is ready availability of contraceptives to all women who want or need them.  Already, even without President Obama’s mandate, a majority of insurance plans provide contraceptives, and for those without these plans, women are able to go to federally-funded clinics and health centers which received $632 million from the government in 2012.

The Obama Administration would like to make people believe that contraceptives are “essential health benefits” and that without universally mandated health insurance coverage of contraceptives, women would be significantly harmed.  The problem with this argument is that even if conservatives lost their minds and did concede that contraceptives are “essential” and that it was critical that women be able to access contraceptives for free, they’re already available to virtually anyone who needs or wants them!  Taxpayer money already goes to the provision of family planning services.  Due to government funding, there are over 4,500 family planning clinics and 8,000 community health center delivery sites nationwide – a majority of which provide contraceptives.  Seventy-five percent of all U.S. counties have at least one clinic that provides contraceptives.  As much as President Obama would like to characterize this as a health question or a “war on women,” the simple fact that women already have access to these medications renders his claims untrue.  Bottom line: This is a war on religion.

Thomas Jefferson once said that, “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority” (emphasis mine).  President Obama’s HHS contraceptive mandate does infringe upon individuals’ rights of conscience.  It forces the Catholic Church and other organizations to do what they believe is morally wrong.  These are precisely the types of laws that our Founding Fathers were fleeing from when they came to America and precisely the types of laws that our Founding Fathers were fighting to prevent when they ratified the Constitution.  There is a reason that the right to freedom of religion is the first of the amendments to the Constitution, and there is a reason that the “right to free health care” does not appear anywhere in the Bill of Rights or any of the subsequent constitutional amendments.  Simply put, our Founding Fathers believed in freedom; they didn’t believe in socialism.

There is an old saying that says, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”  The Obama Administration says that it wants insurers to provide contraceptive services for free so that people will not have to violate their consciences.  Anyone knows, though, that the charities, schools, and organizations will pay for this indirectly through higher premium costs.  The compromise is not compromise – nothing comes for free.  In this case, the cost that President Obama seems willing to force us to pay is not just higher premiums, it’s the loss of religious freedom, liberty, and the right to conscience.

Ultimately, this mandate is just another glimpse of how ObamaCare as a whole is seizing freedom from today’s Americans, and it shows why not just this requirement, but President Obama’s health care plan as a whole, must be immediately repealed.  Americans nationwide are recognizing that ObamaCare poses a fundamental threat to their liberty.  This realization is at the core of nearly every state ObamaCare lawsuit across the country and the subsequent hearing in the Supreme Court earlier this week.

Contrary to President Obama’s assertions, Americans care more about living free lives than receiving free health care.

Our Guest Blogger today is Claire Rossell, an intern with Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program.  Learn more about interning with CWA by clicking here.