What will come next? Will the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issue a Pork Mandate as part of Obamacare? Will this be the next shoe to drop? Sound ridiculous? But, wait. Here's what the pork industry says about pork, "the other white meat."
Pork today compares favorably for fat, calories and cholesterol with many other meats and poultry. While providing a greater amount of vitamins and minerals, many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken. Pork tenderloin, for example, is just as lean as skinless chicken breast and meets the government guidelines for "extra lean." In total, six pork cuts meet the USDA guidelines for "lean," with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.
This is a fairly persuasive catalog of the benefits of pork versus chicken. The case for pork is even stronger when compared with beef. And isn't it the case that the fat and cholesterol content of beef has been a subject upon which nutritionists and cardiologists have been writing for some time?
If the health benefits of pork vis-à-vis chicken and beef can be scientifically demonstrated, then it could only be "irrational" religious objections that stand in the way of a Pork Mandate, right?
Try to imagine an HHS Pork Mandate applicable of Jewish rest homes and Muslim soup kitchens. Surely, these small religious minorities would be required to go along with the federal government for the greater good. Health is health, after all. And that's what HHS is all about.
As absurd as it is to think about a Pork Mandate, it is equally absurd to consider the federal government forcing Catholics, evangelicals, many Lutherans and some Jews to include insurance coverage for drugs that can cause abortions. Yet, that is exactly where we are with the Obama administration's unconscionable HHS Mandate.
The media like to call it the HHS "Contraceptive" Mandate. There are a lot of things wrong with this title. For starters, the HHS Mandate includes such things as Plan B and other so-called Emergency Contraceptives.
How can these drugs be classified as contraceptives when they act to prevent implantation of the already conceived embryonic human? Well, they first have to adulterate the definition of pregnancy. They first have to tell us that conception occurs only after the embryonic human has successfully implanted in the uterine wall. Thus, by introducing a drug that prevents implantation, they argue they are contracepting. This requires them to change the century old definition of pregnancy itself.
What they call their "Contraceptive" Mandate also requires coverage for the drug "ella," which kills the developing child after implantation. So, even by their own skewed redefinition, the mandaters are not contracepting.
Imagine a beach patrol organized to keep beaches clean. But in doing this, they prevent struggling swimmers from coming ashore. When these swimmers, exhausted, sink under the waves, the prevention teams claim they had nothing to do with those swimmers' deaths. The beach patrol's only job is to keep the beach clean, they protest. And we kept it clean!
That is essentially what these so-called emergency contraceptives do. They don't prevent conception. They prevent human lives.
If you're working hard to advance the HHS agenda, what would be the problem in preventing human lives? If you're working hard to advance this agenda, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' HHS Department has hung out a sign for you: "Help Wanted."
The HHS Mandate is a death sentence for unborn children. And it forces millions of Americans to violate their consciences by active participation in this attack on the Culture of Life.
It must be resisted. And resisted not just by Catholics, but by all Americans who cherish religious liberty.
Ken Blackwell is a member of the board of directors of Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
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