That whirring sound you hear is the media spin machine running at full speed, helping the Democrats in their effort to recast the latest Obamacare debacle as a “Republican war on women.” Let’s be clear: not one of the GOP candidates has suggested that women should be denied access to contraceptives. Not even the much-maligned Rick Santorum.
The issue is simply whether an institution that was founded by, and is funded and operated by, a religion that is opposed to contraception and abortion as a fundamental tenet of its faith can be forced, by the federal government, to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients for its employees, or whether such coercion is a violation of the constitutional right to free expression of religion.
And the president’s non-compromise would be laughable anywhere outside the looking-glass world of Washington D.C.: “We won’t make you pay for it, we’ll just make the insurance companies provide it for free to any woman who requests it.” Except that there’s no such thing as “free.” The money has to come from somewhere, and it will come from the premiums of all policyholders, including the very institutions that the president is claiming to exempt from payment.
What he’s really offering is a rhetorical screen they can hide behind, so they can pretend they’re following the dictates of their consciences when we all know it’s just smoke and mirrors. Not surprising, really — that sort of thing is done all the time in Washington, D.C.