ST. LOUIS, MO, October 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - President Obama celebrated one of his administration’s new health care regulations at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Tuesday, bragging about the mandate that will force most religious employers to pay for contraception – including drugs that can cause abortions like Ella and Plan B - and sterilization.

“Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage for no good reason.  They won’t be able to deny your coverage because of preexisting conditions,” Obama told an audience gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis, according to remarks published this week by the White House Press Office.

“Think about what that means for families all across America.  Think about what it means for women,” he added.

“Birth control,” an audience member interjected.

“Absolutely, you’re stealing my line,” the President responded. “No longer can insurance companies discriminate against women just because you guys are the ones who have to give birth.”

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His comments elicited laughter, applause, and an audible cry of “Darn right!” from one audience member.

“Darn tootin’,” Obama called back, to more laughter. “They have to cover things like mammograms and contraception as preventive care, no more out-of-pocket costs.”

The president’s health care plan has met with strenuous objections from religious leaders, who see it as an unprecedented violation of religious liberty.

A letter signed by 18 Catholic colleges and universities and sent to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week pointed out that narrow exemption from the rule is given only at the discretion of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Moreover, the letter argued, the exception given to religious employers is so narrow that even “Jesus Christ himself would fail” to meet the criteria.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had urged Catholics to write to HHS objecting to the mandate during a comment period that ended September 30. According to the bishops’ website, the campaign generated over 57,000 opposing comments.

Catholics are now being asked to write to their members of Congress urging them to support conscience protection legislation, such as the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).

To contact your members of Congress, click here.