Bill Donohue: Obama’s mandate about abortion, not birth control

"Framing the issue as one about birth control ... is not going to set off the alarms: mention abortion and everything changes," says the Catholic League president.
By Patrick Craine

By Patrick Craine

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2012 ( - Fiery Catholic commentator Bill Donohue says the media has deliberately downplayed the significance of Obama’s HHS mandate by framing it as an issue of birth control instead of abortion.

On January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that under Obamacare they will require religious institutions to cover sterilizations and FDA-approved contraceptives in employees’ health plans. But that includes abortion-inducing drugs such as Ella, which is a sister drug of RU-486. (Update: This morning the Obama administration announced that it will no longer require religious organizations to pay for the drugs, but will instead force the organization’s health insurance company to pay for them - an “accommodation” that is being universally panned by pro-life leaders.)

“The media are framing the issue in terms of the least offensive issue,” Donohue, who serves as president of the Catholic League, said Thursday.

“When pollsters ask about the Obama healthcare plan, framing the issue as one about birth control, it is not going to set off the alarms: mention abortion and everything changes,” he added.

Donohue explained that a Lexis-Nexis search turned up 345 stories for the keywords “Catholic,” “Obama,” and “birth control,” but only 62 when he added “morning-after pill,” 31 when he added “abortifacients,” and 20 when he added “abortion-inducing drugs.”

“Why does the Obama plan include abortion-inducing drugs? Because that’s where he wants to go—he would like nothing better than to force all religious institutions to provide abortion coverage—and this is his way of prying the door open,” Donohue said.

“This issue is, first and foremost, about the First Amendment right to religious liberty. Secondly, it is about abortion,” he continued. “The lust for abortion that this administration has is unparalleled, and its unrelenting drive to shove its radical secular agenda down the throats of the faithful is equally unprecedented.”

The Jan. 20th announcement prompted universal backlash from America’s Catholic bishops with letters in over 170 dioceses, many of which were read to the faithful at Mass.

But Evangelical, Orthodox, and other religious leaders have rallied alongside the Catholics with some of them pledging to go to jail rather than obey the mandate.

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