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Obama birth control ruling infringes on 1st Amendment
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

It has been over three weeks since you wrote your thoughts on the recent Obama administration’s ruling on health care coverage of employees and its effect on Catholic Institutions. The Department of Health and Human Services says organizations will be required to offer and pay for, among other things, abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptives for employees. Failure to do so would result in millions of dollars in penalties by the government. The subsequent offer of an “accommodation” by the government is basically meaningless.

The real issue here is not the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding abortion and certain methods of birth control. It is the government’s move onto Constitutional grounds, especially the First Amendment’s wording regarding the free exercise of religion.

Perhaps the Obama administration was trying an “end run” around the First Amendment by issuing the ruling through the DHHS, since the First Amendment’s wording mentions only Congress. Make no mistake, the ruling will be challenged in the courts as to its constitutionality unless the administration alters that ruling.

It was refreshing to read your opinion, Mr. Wyatt, as it comes from a non-Catholic. The several thousand members of the Church in the South County are grateful.

Marion Elliott
March 3, 2012