November 28, 2011
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the upcoming showdown between the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Catholic Church:
On December 1, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform will hold a hearing titled, "HHS and the Catholic Church: Examining the Politicization of Grants." At issue is the decision by the Obama administration to deny a grant that the Catholic Church routinely receives providing for relief to the victims of human trafficking; the ruling was made despite an independent review board's finding that gave high scores to the Church's program.
The Church was denied the grant because it refuses to offer abortion referrals. Many Catholics, including the Catholic League, believe that the politicized nature of the decision to defund the program demands a hearing, and on Thursday we will get it. Since 2006, the Church has helped more than 2,700 trafficking victims, most of whom are women and children.
Although the issue of abortion referral is on the table, the real issue is something more sinister: the pro-abortion community, which is supporting the Obama administration's push to mandate that private healthcare plans provide coverage for sterilization and contraceptive services, has its real sights set on mandated abortion coverage. That's why there has been an editorial and op-ed explosion in recent weeks calling for Obama to stand up to the bishops. Everyone knows that even minimum-wage earners can afford contraceptives, so this issue hardly explains the heated rhetoric. What mandated contraceptive services accomplishes is that it greases the slide towards abortion coverage.
Those who do not ascribe to the vision of sexuality entertained by "progressives," but are nonetheless not terribly bothered by the push for contraceptive services in healthcare plans, need to wake up and smell the odor before the "progressives" start racing for home. We're at the top of the stretch right now, which is why this hearing is critical.