- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The government, in direct opposition to the transparency President Obama promised, just loves to do big things in secret - like Obamacare’s Senate approval at midnight on Christmas Eve of 2009 - and release broad mandates on Friday nights, when the media are less likely to cover them. In fact, much of the news that Mr. Obama and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be forcing religious employers to violate their consciences was released on Fridays.

Not breaking from tradition, Mrs. Sebelius and company decided to release the latest attack on the First Amendment on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, during March Madness - classy. That’s when Mrs. Sebelius issued a “clarification” to the HHS mandate, the unprecedented assault on individual rights and religious freedom. It’s a direct shot at college students and all universities, regardless of whether or not they have a moral objection to providing contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in their insurance plans.

The Obama administration is forcing all universities, including Catholic ones, to provide this coverage to their students. If Catholic colleges and universities object, they have a year to figure out how to “violate their consciences,” as Cardinal Timothy Dolan pointedly said.

There are 678 Students for Life groups on more than 600 campuses spread throughout this country. The government is telling them that they must buy into an insurance plan that uses their money, paid in premiums, to provide fellow students with drugs that cause abortions. The outrage and fury these students feel is indescribable. How dare the government tell them they must fund the extermination of unborn children, who are at the most vulnerable stage in life.

Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who testified in front of Congress that the government should be paying for her birth control because it’s too expensive, does not represent us. Our students take personal responsibility for their actions and do not want the government forcing them to pay for someone else’s birth control, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. But further, they recognize that this is only the beginning of the government’s control over our lives if this mandate is allowed to stand.

If we don’t fight this intrusive, unprecedented and unconstitutional ruling, the government will no have limits. Stemming from Obamacare, this monstrous law will face its day at the Supreme Court next week. If Obamacare is not struck down by the court, I fear to think what the government will do with its newfound power to force Americans to purchase a particular product, whether they want to or not.

This is the not the America our Founding Fathers envisioned. Our nation was created by people who were escaping religious oppression. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Sebelius aren’t “accommodating” anyone, much less people who are morally opposed to contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. They are depriving Americans of basic freedoms.

Obamacare must go, and the HHS abortion mandate must go along with it. Forcing college students to pay for their fellow students’ contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients is unconscionable. The administration obviously knows this is a bad idea because the news was released when no one would be paying attention.

This fight isn’t over. In fact, it is just beginning. The future of our nation, our freedoms and our liberties is at stake, and we aren’t backing down.

Kristan Hawkins is executive director of Students for Life of America