"(A)lthough Mr. Obama coincides with Catholic teaching on many areas, I have considered that as a non-Catholic it is wrong to impose on him obedience to the Church," Stevens-Arroyo said.
"As president, he takes an oath of office to uphold the law of the land and abortion is the law of the land. The right to an abortion has been enforced by every president, both Republicans and Democrats, since Roe v. Wade."
Stevens-Arroyo did not give direct responses to questions about whether the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade, whether doctors who perform abortions should be criminalized, and whether Democrats and Republicans should work towards that goal.
Catholics United, publisher of "Our Daily Thread," is not known for criticizing President Obama's support for legal abortion. It is one of several Democrat-leaning Catholic outreach groups founded after Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry lost the 2004 election and the Catholic vote in a campaign dogged by controversy over his support for abortion.
Catholics United has also defended Kathleen Sebelius, who is now Secretary of Health and Human Services. In 2008 Sebelius was rebuked by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City for her support for abortion rights and her acceptance of political contributions from abortionist George Tiller.
Though President Obama's Catholic defenders are selective in their criticisms, the controversy over Stericycle could prove significant in the 2012 presidential election among pro-life voters skeptical of Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee.
The facts and the interpretations of Romney's involvement in Stericycle are already politically charged.
An attack using Stericycle could discourage some pro-life voters already wary of Romney's record. He supported Roe v. Wade as late as 2002, but he has said he changed his mind on abortion in 2004. He also backed embryonic stem cell research before turning against it and vetoing several Massachusetts bills that favored the research.
CNN correspondent John King reported on July 13 that insiders with Bain and the Romney campaign strongly believe that "either the Obama campaign or a Democratic ally" want to use the Stericycle investment against Romney late in the campaign but "cannot do so with any credibility" if it is certain that Romney left the company in February 1999.
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.