This afternoon I approached a member of the administrative team of the hospital I practice in. I asked if the leaders of the hospital have discussed the push by President Obama to take away the rights of individuals to refuse to perform or participate in procedures that are contrary to conscience and religious belief. He stated that the discussion of this situation has been ongoing, and proceeded to explain facets of it in general terms. This was the first time I recognized the gravity of this situation in the face of a member of the hospital's administration. It cemented in my mind the reality that we are beginning to see the opening salvos of a very serious battle, one that threatens to change the very fabric of our freedom.
It has been reported that upwards of twenty percent of all health care is delivered in Catholic facilities, with much of that concentrated in the Northeast and Southwest. It has been a hallmark of our freedom that our nation has allowed us to practice in accordance with our dearly held beliefs honoring the sanctity of life and the rational reality of natural law. Millions of men, women and children are cared for by facilities that combine the very best in medical care with a holistic approach that recognizes the indivisible nature of the body and soul. From conception to death, each individual is seen as a child of God and worthy of our care and attention. This storied tradition, marked with sacrifice, love and devotion, is now facing its greatest threat to date.
President Obama has repeatedly stated that he would like to take away the right of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers to follow their conscience, most especially in the case of abortion, sterilization, the provision of contraception, artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization. This stated goal is a direct threat to our religious freedom. Religious freedom is time honored and a hallmark of our nation. Our President believes this is negotiable when it comes to health care. We beg to differ.
We need to prepare and arm ourselves spiritually. The battle has just begun.