Building the culture of life

Coercive mandate a natural outgrowth of disrespect for life

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

by Ron Kelsey

Have you felt it? Probably not, but your freedom has been seriously reduced, effective Aug. 1 of this year.

This attack on our freedom is subtle and is flying under the radar screen of much of the public, which makes it all the more dangerous — the boiling frog syndrome. Plus the freedom that has been reduced is our first and most important freedom, our religious freedom. Religious freedom is tightly interwoven with our right and duty to act according to our conscience, but now we cannot act accordingly in the area of health care. Of course, the attack on religious freedom that I am referring to is the recent HHS mandate that now forces us to participate in health insurance plans that pay for drugs and devices that cause abortion.

Perhaps you still do not know what I am talking about. That is because the media seldom presents the matter in the above light. Allow me to use the deceptive term that is typically used — the contraception mandate. Naturally, the first thing that you think about with the name contraception mandate, is contraception. That is precisely what the mandate proponents want you to think about. This allows them to effect their sleight of hand, taking your eye off of the more grave issues of abortion and reduction in religious freedom.

The mandate proponents want us to believe that free contraceptives are a major advance in health care and that you are willing to pay for women to have free contraceptives, even given the precarious economic and fiscal situation that the U.S. government is in. Really? More precisely, the HHS mandate should be called the HHS coercion mandate because we have been forced to violate our religious beliefs and consciences and pay for some abortions.

We should not be surprised by this “coercion mandate.” We have had 40 years of legalized abortion. If our society can have such low respect for human life that we can legally take away the right to life of our unborn children, then it seems a natural progression to not respect our religious freedom. Our Declaration of Independence lists our rights in highest priority order: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With life and our first liberty now attacked, we would be naive to assume that other freedoms and rights will not be attacked.

Note that the attack on our religious freedom was accompanied by a further attack on life with the HHS coercion mandate, which forces us to pay for some abortions.

This mandate was also launched against us by a government administration that strongly supports abortion and Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we can see the close relationship between life and liberty

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Ron Kelsey

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