The biggest bioethics story this week is President Obama's efforts to soften anger over his Administration's decision to force religious institutions to pay for insurance plans offering "free" contraception. The New York Times argued that this is "a phony crisis over 'religious liberty' engendered by the right."
Seeking to allay the concerns of Catholic leaders, the White House is planning to adjust its health-care rule requiring religious employers to provide women access to contraception, a senior administration official said.
The new policy would require insurance companies to directly offer free contraceptive services to employees at religious institutions that object to providing them, a senior administration official said.
Mr Obama apparently sees no rational reasons to oppose contraception, which includes the Pill, sterilizations, the abortion pill, and the morning-after pill. All have brought dramatic social change which have imposed huge costs on the economy, including a rise in STDs, an increase in teen pregnancies, a decrease in marriage rates, a fall in the birth rate, promiscuity, etc.
Obama does not see his contraceptive initiative as an ethical issue, nor does he see any medical reasons to restrict interventions that prevent or terminate life. However, the Presidential Policy Maker is neither an ethicist nor a medical practitioner.
Last year Obama's secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, told a pro-choice gathering, "We are in a war." The religiously conservative are trying to "roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America."
Now the religiously conservative must agree. "The religious truce is officially over," writes Dr Jennifer Roback Morse in MercatorNet. "The Established Church of Secular Hedonism has declared war on the rest of us, enlisting the might of the United States government on their side."
Dr Roback argues that hedonism has become America's official religion under President Obama. Yet another edict from the Obama administration has ended the American experiment in religious liberty. The President should take a lesson from history. Leaders who overthrow religious liberty and the sanctity of the conscience cause divisions that are rarely repaired.