.- Representative Chris Smith thinks that the Obama administrationâs decision to force religious organizations to purchase health insurance plans in violation of their consciences is an attempt to force âCatholic health care to cease to be.â
âThatâs the end goal here. I think we have to be very blunt about it,â he said in a Jan. 23 interview with CNA.
The Republican congressman from New Jersey also responded to President Barack Obamaâs Jan. 22 statement on the anniversary of the Supreme Courtâs Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the United States.
President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to abortion, which he called a âfundamental constitutional right.â He added that the 1973 decision âalso affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.â
Rep. Smith said that President Obamaâs statement reveals his âbigotry and prejudice against the unborn child,â whom he fails to include as a family member.
He also observed that the presidentâs professed commitment to avoid interfering with the private matters of citizens is inconsistent with his administrationâs Jan. 20 decision to require virtually all health care plans to cover sterilization and contraception â including abortion-causing drugs â at no cost.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also announced that its finalized âpreventative servicesâ mandate would not contain an expanded religious exemption for employers who object to its requirements on religious grounds.
Since it was first proposed, the religious exemption policy has been harshly criticized as being too narrow.
The overwhelming majority of religious organizations will not qualify for the exemption, which applies only to organizations that exist for the purpose of inculcating religious values and that primarily serve and employ members of their own faith.
Rep. Smith said that the mandate violates the conscience rights not only of those who object to contraception, but also those who object to abortion. The early abortion drugs Plan B and Ella are included in the âpreventative servicesâ that insurance companies are required to cover.
The congressman warned that the âmisguidedâ policy might be a foreshadowing of further coercive abortion policies in the future.
He explained that during the heath care overhaul debate, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) offered the preventive health care amendment, upon which the HHS mandate is based.
Sen. Mikulski was asked during the debate if she would exclude abortion as a âpreventative serviceâ and she said no.
Rep. Smith said this illustrates a move toward saying that âpreventive health care equals abortion, because youâve got to get rid of that unwanted pregnancy.â
A pro-abortion mindset sees an unwanted child as a âdiseaseâ or âa tumor to be excised,â he explained.
Rep. Smith also stated that âcoercion is embeddedâ in the legal abortion movement, and that he believes more attempts to force compliance can be expected under the current administration.
He illustrated his point by noting that âcoercion begins in the first place against the baby,â who has âno say in the violence thatâs coming his or her way.â
Congressman Smith said that Americans must realize the significance of the threats being posed by the Obama administrationâs attacks on conscience rights.
âThe mask is off,â he said. âItâs about time we woke up.â