I am already weary of the Obama administration's propaganda machine (commonly referred to as the mainstream media) trying to spin the outrage expressed by the USCCB (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) as some kind of anti-women attempt to keep anyone from getting contraceptive and abortifacient devices and medication. It is truly a challenge to religious liberty, and an attempt to squash the 1st Amendment of our Constitution. The usual obfuscation and misrepresentation is being employed to try to distract people from what is really at issue here.
Yes, the bishops are united in their outcry about the affront to religious institutions in how the HHS mandates compel a behavior diametrically opposed to the moral stance of the Church. But, it is not just their institutions about which the bishops raise the alarm. This is about the INDIVIDUAL's right to practice their religion, and the government "prohibiting the [individual's] free exercise thereof". If I am forced to pay for contraceptive and abortion "services" in any health insurance policy that will have to meet the HHS guidelines under the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), I am being forced against my conscience to participate in what I, as a practicing Roman Catholic, recognize as a morally reprehensible practice.
Now, the 1st Amendment says "Congress shall make no law". Well, I suppose it could be argued that Congress isn't the one forcing this mandate; HHS is. And, as an Executive Branch department, HHS is not bound by the stipulated prohibition. That certainly does not comport with the spirit of the language, even if it does technically meet the specification.
Folks, the bottom line is that this is not a fight strictly between the Catholic bishops and the Obama administration. This is a fight we must all take up, as it is our individual right to freely practice our religion that is at stake.
Here is a link to The Heritage Foundation's fine article on the topic: