The news broke Friday that Sr. Carol Keehan of the Catholic Healthcare Association (CHA) has broken with the Obama administration’s plan to force abortion drugs and contraception on religious institutions such as Catholic hospitals and universities that offer medical insurance.
The dramatic move was announced in a 5-page letter (PDF here) signed by Keehan and two CHA board members.
The move is momentous because Keehan famously broke with the U.S. bishops to endorse the original passage of the administration’s Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and then broke with them again to endorse the Department of Health and Human Services abortion drug and contraception mandate, providing political cover for the administration.
Both acts were widely criticized, and it appeared to many that Sr. Keehan was a willing tool of the administration’s “divide and conquer” strategy for dealing with the Catholic community–playing the role of an alternative Catholic authority that could be pitted against and thus neutralize the voice of he bishops.
But she is not so willing today, it seems, and the new move must come across to the administration as an act of betrayal of it and its agenda.
Jimmy Akin goes on to give a history of what Sr. Keehan has said in the past along with an analysis of the current letter.
The letter from the CHA is certainly an improvement on what they have said in the past, but it certainly lacks some moral clarity in regards to cooperation with evil. In regards to this I refer to Jimmy Akin’s look at one of the sections.
It also brings up another question about broadening the current narrowly defined HHS mandate to be more in line with the religious exemption in the past. Likely if this had been done in the first place there would not have been the sustained outcry that resulted. It would have still been a forced violation of the conscience of some employers who did not fall into this category. In some ways it is a good thing the Obama Administration so overstep themselves in that it might go on to protect the consciences of this category also.
This article makes the same point: Hey CHA: Catholics who run non-religious businesses are people, too.
Now what I want to know is if Sr. Carol Keehan will return her Obamacaare signing pen to the Obama Administration. If so they could buy a potter field with it.