When it comes to the government mandate that all private health plans cover birth control that can also cause abortions with no co-pay, Jon O’Brien of Catholics for Choice opines that “religious discrimination is wrong.”

But the pro-abortion leader, writing in an op-ed for The Hill on Friday, means something a little different from when the bishops say it.

As it turns out, “discriminating” religious people as exempt from forced participation in abortions is what’s the matter. Therefore, far from needing more conscience protections, O’Brien writes, “the otherwise sound regulation goes awry” because it acknowledges any conscience rights at all: but more importantly, because it acknowledges any bishops at all.

“Government should indeed listen to what American Catholics want. But they should let Catholics speak for themselves,” wrote O’Brien, who points out the huge number of (nominal) Catholics on artificial birth control. He backs up his statements with the words of one Catholic teacher who essentially complained that anyone who upholds a vow of celibacy has no authority on issues of sexual morality.

“I went to fill my birth control prescription like I always do. I say ‘Here’s my new insurance card,’ and they say I’m not covered,” she recounted. “They said, ‘Oh, 99 percent of Catholic schools will not cover it.’” …

“I don’t like being told by some guy that I’ve never met that I can’t use it,” she says. “The bishops are not even having sex in the first place. How are they supposed to know how to tell me what to do in that situation?”

O’Brien concluded that the woman was right to speak up because “she knows it’s wrong to allow her employer to exclude this basic, preventive women’s healthcare.”

In the case of this mandate, “basic, preventive women’s healthcare” will include the abortion drug Ella, which the FDA recently approved as a supposed form of “birth control.” Ella is a sister drug to RU-486.

Therefore, the birth control mandate isn’t that at all, but America’s very first abortion mandate – although this is unlikely to trouble the conscience of the president of Catholics for Choice.