Mar 12, 2012
In determining to fight President Obama’s famous—or should I say infamous?—contraception mandate, the American bishops, I suspect, were devoutly hoping two things would not happen.
The first undesired outcome was that the issue would become politicized. The second was that it would be seen as an argument over contraception itself.
Predictably perhaps, both have occurred, at least to some degree. Politicization has taken place, as almost certainly was bound to happen, with the division breaking down along familiar liberal-conservative lines within both the Church and the political world. And contraception as an issue of women’s rights has come to the fore in numerous ideologically skewed claims regarding what this fight is all about.
These unfortunate developments hugely complicate the task of remedying the situation created by the administration’s decision to co-opt religious institutions as part of a federal system for distributing contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs via Obamacare. A remedy is still possible, but something that was never easy has been made difficult in the extreme.