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What President Obama’s “Accommodation” of Religious Liberty Accomplished

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about contraceptive funding at the White House in Washington

Nothing.

In reaction to the outcry of the American people over the Obama Administration’s decision to force religious institutions to violate their religious beliefs by providing insurance coverage for abortion pills for their employees, President Obama unveiled an “accommodation” that was anything but.

President Obama began by calling the religious liberty objections raised by many Americans, the “cynical desire on the part of some to make this into a political football.”

Here is the essence of Obama’s “compromise.” Instead of requiring religious institutions to violate their faith by directly paying for abortion pill coverage in their employer health insurance plans, it requires religious institutions to purchase insurance coverage that carries with it a mandate to cover contraception and abortion-causing drugs.

As Congressman Chris Smith astutely noted, “Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”

Here is how President Obama explained it, “The result will be that religious organizations won't have to pay for these services and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly.” Directly? That’s the compromise. Religious organizations will no longer be required to violate their faith directly . . . just indirectly.

As Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel, told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today, “There is no compromise with free exercise of religion.” President Obama is still telling religious institutions that in order “to operate, you must violate your conscience.”

Whether it is direct or indirect, the Constitution protects citizens from being forced to choose between violating their deeply held religious beliefs and violating the law.

2.11.2012 Update: The Wall Street Journal conducted an excellent economic analysis of President Obama’s “accommodation,” concluding that “as with all mandated benefits, . . . these costs will be borne eventually via higher premiums” and that the result is that religious institutions “will still pay for birth control, even if it is nominally carried by a third-party corporation.”

Thousands of American’s have spoken out against the Obama Administration’s assault on religious liberty. You can join the ACLJ in fighting back by signing the “Petition to Reverse Obama's Forced Abortion Pill Coverage for Religious Institutions.

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