Sarah Palin gave her two cents Tuesday regarding a religiously-charged piece of the Affordable Care Act's contraception rule.
On Jan. 20, the Obama administration announced that it was not exempting religiously-affiliated employers from a decision granting female workers birth control as part of their health coverage. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the new legislation prevents religious groups from denying women access to contraception for anything other than moral reasons. Under that reasoning, institutions like universities and hospitals would not be eligible.
That news prompted Palin to recall a Catholic university's decision to have the president serve as its commencement speaker. In a Facebook note titled "How Obama Repaid Notre Dame", Palin revived her reservations about a religious institution letting a pro-choice president speak.
Back in May 2009, during the controversy over Notre Dame's decision to have President Obama as their commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, I gave a short statement to the Boston Herald: "My favorite grandpa, Clem James Sheeran, was Catholic. Irish to the core, his favorite place (other than church) was Notre Dame. I can't imagine what he would think as the university recognizes someone who contradicts the core values of the Catholic faith by promoting an anti-life agenda."
Palin then pointed to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson's Jan. 30 take, which argued that Obama's contraception decision won't go unnoticed by the religious community.
"Both radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama's decision -- an edict delivered with a sneer. It is the most transparently anti-Catholic maneuver by the federal government since the Blaine Amendment was proposed in 1875 -- a measure designed to diminish public tolerance of Romanism, then regarded as foreign, authoritarian and illiberal. Modern liberalism has progressed to the point of adopting the attitudes and methods of 19th-century Republican nativists."
"And in this we see how the faithful at Notre Dame got snookered and how Obama has shamefully repaid their faith in him," Palin added.
Republican presidential candidates have also condemned Obama's decision on contraception. Newt Gingrich slammed the move at a rally in Florida on Monday, charging that "the Obama administration is engaged in a war against religion." Gingrich's rival for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, offered similar criticisms, calling the policy "a direct attack on religious liberty."
Religious leaders have praised Obama's pro-choice decision. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, consisting of more than 40 denominations, issued a letter thanking the administration.
"We believe that all women deserve access to affordable birth control, regardless of their employer, and we hope that, in the future, HHS will expand the same preventive coverage to women across the board," seven of the coalition's leaders wrote.
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