Women and Religious Liberty


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ABSTRACTWomen and Religious Liberty - Interview - National Review Online Get FREE NRO Newsletters   Log In   |   Register Follow Us Everywhere         April 16 Issue  Subscribe to NR  Renew  April 16 Issue   |   Subscribe   |   Renew Home The Corner The Agenda Campaign Spot The Home Front Right Field Bench Memos The Feed Media Blog Critical Condition Larry Kudlow David Calling Exchequer Phi Beta Cons Planet Gore UK Between the Covers Radio Derb Tweet Tracker NR / Digital Subscribe: NR Subscribe: NR / Digital Give: NR / Digital NR Renewals & Changes Shop! Donate Media Kit Contact Costa: Rick Santorum’s Long Goodbye Editors: The Emperor Has No Plan Capretta: Unsubstantiated Budget Attacks, the Sequel Ponnuru: The Impropriety of Obamacare Interview: Peace Is the Word Fund: President Petulant Loyola: The EPA Abuses First, Apologizes Later Epstein: Cue the Boys of Summer 2012 Goldberg: Romney’s Savior Tanner: Conservatives and the Courts Sowell: Political Word Games Malkin: The Democrats’ Election Forgery Racket Zubrin: Carbon Emissions Are Good Derbyshire: March Diary Costa: The Ron Johnson Factor Hanson: Iran’s Win, Win, Win Bomb Habeeb: Too Young to Die Sowell: Argument from Disparity Charen: Violence and Family Breakdown Fonte: Saving Sovereignty New on NRO . . . Close To: Your Email: Your Name: Subject: March 21, 2012 4:00 A.M. Women and Religious Liberty The HHS mandate is a fundamental assault on our constitutional rights. An NRO Interview Archive Latest E-Mail RSS Send Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council Print Text   Comments 15 F or Jeanne Monahan , director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, defending Americans’ religious liberty is a matter of human dignity. She testified before the House Judiciary Committee last month during their hearing on “ Executive Overreach: The HHS Mandate Versus Religious Liberty .” Monahan talks with National Review Online ’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about the perniciousness of the coercive HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, and some of the common myths about it. KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ : What is the HHS mandate fight about? Religion? Liberty? Birth control? Abortion? Uncompromising Democrats? Uncompromising Republicans? Advertisement f JEANNE MONAHAN : This is about religious liberty and the constitutional right of Americans to exercise their religious beliefs free from government intrusion. The HHS mandate, at its core, forces religious groups to violate their consciences and the moral dictates that animate their lives. The mandate is a profound violation of religious and conscience protections that America’s Founders fought for, and which, until now, have been considered basic, protected rights in the United States. LOPEZ : Can we focus on abortion for a second? That  is a part of this mandate picture, isn’t it? Why should abortion-rights advocates care? MONAHAN : Drugs and devices that can cause abortion are included in the list of FDA-approved contraceptives that, under the mandate, every health plan must cover. It is a scientifically valid belief that pregnancy, and therefore life, begin at fertilization and not at implantation (seven to ten days after fertilization). However, drugs and devices included in the mandate have modes of action that prevent implantation. For example, Plan B, labeled as an emergency contraceptive, is included, but research has shown that it can prevent implantation and thereby cause the death of a newly developing embryo. One review of Plan B in the medical literature revealed that the drug possesses seven modes of action preventing implantation. And one drug included in the mandate, Ella, can work post-implantation. This is particularly disturbing, because until now, regardless of where you stand on abortion, everyone has agreed that a drug that can destroy a baby post-fertilization is considered an abortion drug and is labeled as such. But not Ella. Last year, the FDA approved Ella as an “emergency contraceptive.” But it is chemically and functionally similar to the FDA-approved abortifacient RU-486. A number of studies support this — for example, in one study on macaque monkeys, Ella aborted four out of five fetuses.   LOPEZ : Why is it important or even relevant to point out in reference to the HHS mandate that “Pregnancy is not a disease,” as you did on a congressional panel recently? MONAHAN : Pregnancy indicates a condition of good health for a woman; pregnancy is temporary and beneficial. A woman who has difficulty becoming pregnant will probably seek medical attention to remedy her malady. Pregnancy itself is a normal condition from which serious medical complications can sometimes arise but usually do not. Thus, the mandate that .......