By Steven Dobbs
Notre Dame University is the latest organization to contest the President’s birth control mandate. The mandate requires that most employers cover birth control.
School officials say the mandate violates religious freedoms by requiring mostly religious hospitals, schools, and other institutions to comply with the mandate. President Obama said he would weaken the wording of the mandate to better accommodate religious institutions. US Catholic bishops are still concerned that the mandate interferes with religious freedom.
The university is the most prominent Roman Catholic school in the country. Notre Dame came under then unprecedented criticism from U.S. bishops and others in 2009 for inviting Obama as commencement speaker. Obama supports abortion rights.
One major problem with the healthcare mandate is that it takes freedom of choice off the table for many employers. While freedom of choice is okay for deciding whether or not to get an abortion, it shouldn’t be granted when it comes to birth control. The mandate puts many religious minded people in a tough situation. They now must be accountable for the “sins” of others.
The issue has been broached multiple times by conservatives leading up to the November election. Many feel that the mandate is Unconstitutional and should be repealed. Some within the Republican party are concerned that this might turn into “the topic” during the campaign. Republicans are hoping to exploit President Obama’s weak economic record and are hoping to avoid healthcare debates. It should be said that Mitt Romney, the front runner for GOP nominee, created a similar healthcare bill in Massachusetts. Obama claimed that Romneycare was the blue print for his own healthcare reform bill.