LifeNews.com reports on the internal debate leading up to Obama’s recent and controversial contraception mandate. While Catholic Vice President Joe Biden was warning Obama against the decision, saying it would be viewed as an attack on religious liberty, Obama was more swayed by Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, whom he had brought in as a top adviser on the issue. LifeNews author Jill Stanek writes,
Surprising to me was Richards’ unquestioned prominence at the White House. Why did the mainstream media not question an obvious benefactor of the contraceptive mandate being in on the conversation? Richards is truly in the inner circle. Pro-lifers knew Richards had influence, but to see in writing just exactly how much weight she carries is informative.
The article relates a report by ABC News’ Jake Tapper:
The debate within the White House on this issue was, sources say, heated….
The policy was wrong, the two Catholic men, Biden and Daley [and also Panetta], argued, saying that the Obama administration couldn’t force religious charities to pay for something they think is a sin….
But Biden and Daley faced a strong group making the case for the rule within the administration….
The two sides couldn’t even agree about what they were debating. In the fall, [Cecile] Richards brought in polling indicating that the American people overwhelmingly supported the birth control benefit in health insurance. She also highlighted statistics showing the overwhelming use of birth control.
The Vice President and others argued that this wouldn’t be seen as an issue of contraception – it would be seen as an issue of religious liberty. They questioned the polling of the rule advocates, arguing that it didn’t explain the issue in full, it ignored the question of what religious groups should have to pay for….
The president ultimately sided with the rule’s advocates…..