He also criticized the Obama administration’s 12-month extension for religious groups to comply with the mandate, calling it “a clumsy attempt to push this matter past this year’s presidential election.”
“The America I believe in is governed by the U.S. Constitution and I will not hesitate to use the powers of the presidency to protect religious liberty,” Romney stated.
All four leading Republican presidential candidates have opposed the mandate.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a convert to Catholicism, charged that the mandate is part of a “war against Christianity.” During his campaign in Florida, ahead of the state primary, he pledged to overturn all “anti-religious” federal policies on his first day in office.
At a Jan. 31 campaign stop in Colorado, Catholic and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said the mandate makes people act against their faith.
“Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius said ‘Too bad. If it goes against what you believe, then you believe the wrong things,’” Santorum said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we can expect.”
In an October statement on his website, Texas Congressman Ron Paul said the mandate “violates the conscience of millions of pro-life Americans.” He said he views the “regulatory overstep” as “payback to Planned Parenthood and big pharmaceutical companies for their support of Obamacare.”