Ken Klukowski is Director, Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council. This article appeared on Breitbart.com, December 5, 2013.
As Obama administration supporters struggle to cast religious opponents of Obamacare's HHS Mandate as waging a war on women ahead of the Supreme Court deciding that controversy next year, polls show Americans support the rights of conscience for business owners who do not want to be complicit in abortion due to their religious faith.
With the Obama White House's approval, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a regulation interpreting the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employer policies cover "preventive care" to include birth control and abortion-related services. Religious organizations and business owners object to this regulation as a violation of their rights of faith-based conscience, and the Supreme Court will decide the issue early next year in two cases consolidated under the name Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores.
Two new polls reveal growing opposition to the mandate. First is a WPA poll of 801 likely voters commissioned by the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom,showing that 59 percent of likely voters oppose the mandate, while only 35 percent support the mandate. Second is a Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters, showing 51 percent opposition to the mandate with 38 percent supporting.
The higher number showcasing the unpopularity of this Obamacare regulation in the first poll could be revealing. The wording of the Rasmussen question (the second poll) is: "Should businesses be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without co-payments or other charges to the patient?"
The wording in the Wilson Research (WPA) poll asks essentially the same question, but adds the information that insurance plans must "includ[e] drugs that can destroy a human embryo." This is because some drugs required by the mandate prevent a human embryo from implanting in the uterus up to 10 days after an egg is fertilized, thereby resulting in its death.
When faced with an unadorned reference to the HHS Mandate, a majority of Americans oppose it by a 13-point margin. But when also informed that this mandate will lead to the destruction of a human embryo-which for anyone who believes life begins at conception means that this Obamacare requirement destroys a human life-that opposition grows to a 24-point margin.
Interestingly, when the first of these two polls were released, the Washington Post ran a grossly misleading story in "The Fix" citing a poll as saying that 53 percent of Americans support the HHS Mandate, while 43 percent oppose. (The actual story includes a chart showing different numbers for different types of entities-such as separating churches from religious hospitals-but the Post leads with the numbers just cited.)
The problem? That poll was conducted in March 2012-21 months ago-before the Supreme Court even decided the first Obamacare challenge and before the country had any meaningful discussion on how the HHS Mandate impairs religious liberty. Not only isWaPo's story not news; it's actually dishonest and deceptive.
Fox News covered the new polling, but most media outlets ignored these polls, andWaPo engaged in a shameful effort to confuse people. This is a disturbing reminder for people throughout the heartland of America that the coastal elites in New York and Washington, D.C. running the national media ignore a broad array of issues important to countless millions of Americans.
Ironically, the liberal media's attempt to obscure this issue also highlights something else: the more Americans learn about how the HHS Mandate and other parts of Obamacare limit the choices and violate rights of conscience, the more they oppose it.
Next year we'll learn whether the Supreme Court agrees.