In his September 28 column, CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey declared that President Obama has "established himself as an aspiring tyrant in the model of Henry VIII" by "attempting to use the power of government to compel faithful Catholic men and women to act against their consciences."
How? Jeffrey explains one way Obama is doing so:
Obamacare regulations proposed by the Department of Health and Services on Aug. 1 would require every private health plan in America to cover sterilizations as well as all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including "emergency contraceptives." These include drugs such as ulipristal, which can cause abortions both before and after an embryo implants in a mother's womb.
If this regulation is finalized -- and the Obamacare mandate that every American must buy health insurance is not repealed -- every American Catholic with a conscience formed in keeping with the teachings of his church would be forced to choose between disobeying Obama's law or disobeying his conscience.
In fact, ulipristal (sold under the brand name ellaOne), like the Plan B pill, works by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus. Thus, according to health experts, it does not "cause abortions." As Christianity Today further explains:
For pro-life groups, such medications are morally (if not medically) abortifacients, drugs that cause an abortion. They are not abortifacients legally, however. According to medical definitions:
-- Pregnancy is a condition of the mother, beginning when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall.
-- Contraception lowers the chances of pregnancy; it includes medication that blocks fertilization, but also drugs that prohibit a pregnancy after conception.
-- Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. A drug that works before the embryo attaches to mother is contraception; one that occurs after pregnancy starts is an abortifacient.
Drugs such as ella and Plan B are approved for contraceptive use because they prevent pregnancy. According to the FDA, the drugs are emergency contraceptives that should be taken within five days of "a contraceptive failure or unprotected intercourse." They are not intended as routine contraceptives. Women who suspect that they are pregnant are advised to not take the drug.
What does this have to do with Henry VIII? Jeffrey portrays this debate over church-state issues as being just like Henry VIII's beheading of Thomas More, who was executed rather than take an oath declaring the king to be the supreme authority over the church in England. Jeffrey seems have overlooked the fact that Obama has not threatened anyone with execution for failing to take an oath to his authority.
(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)