Obama Tricked the Right Over Contraception

Andrew Sullivan: Catholic health care compromise 'a trap'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 12, 2012 1:56 PM CST

(Newser) Lefties and righties alike ripped President Obama for allowing his new health care rule to affect Catholic organizations. But his compromise is drawing ardent conservatives into a culture war they're bound to lose, argues Andrew Sullivan in The Daily Beast: "If this was a trap, the religious right walked right into it." Some conservative Catholics and Republicans are rejecting Obama's compromise, which shifts coverage for contraception, sterilization, and morning-after pills to insurance companies. But are these critics in sync with Catholics—and America?

A majority of Americans—and even more Catholics—supported the original proposition, that Catholic organizations provide those services in their own health-care plans. And studies show 98% of Catholic women have used birth control. So "if the Catholic bishops and the religious right reject the proposed Obama compromise, they will be digging themselves even deeper into positions that are fast losing traction," writes Sullivan. "And this issue could not be more tailor-made to benefit the candidate with real potential pull with far-right-wing Catholics and evangelicals: [Rick] Santorum. ... Do you really think that would hurt Obama in the fall?"

President Barack Obama makes a statement with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the White House on February 10, 2012 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)
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