The president and birth control mandates

To the editor:

President Barack Obama mandated that all organizations, even those with religious beliefs contrary to the order, must provide free contraception for women.

When he was met with the possibility of alienating a particular bloc of voters, he allowed those religious organizations to opt out of that mandate, but then added a new one: the insurance companies of those religious organizations must provide those free contraceptives.

In a recent media account, Rep. Shelley Berkley took Sen. Dean Heller to task for not backing Mr. Obama’s plan and tried to paint Sen. Heller as being against women’s rights.

In Wednesday’s issue, Review-Journal letter writer Walter Wegst asked why all women had a “right” to free contraception. His contention was that men and women should pay for their own contraception devices.

After reading all of this, I came to the conclusion that Rep. Berkley was wrong because she missed the whole point, and that Mr. Wegst was right, but he did not go far enough.

The real issue is not about women’s rights, it is about President Obama thinking he has the right to mandate that a private corporation, an insurance company, give away a product that it normally sells.

I know of no such power being given to him or to any other person.

But that falls right in line with his declaring that all citizens must buy a product — health insurance (ObamaCare) — that a private corporation is selling.

As it stands right now, the president has declared that he has the power to demand that I buy a product that a private corporation is selling, and that he has the power to make a private corporation give away a product it sells for profit.

Again, I say the controversy is not a women’s rights issue. It is not about whether or not women should receive free contraception. It is about whether the president of the United States can mandate all persons must buy a private company’s products and that a private company must give away its products.

For the sake of all free citizens, I hope the courts declare both propositions illegal on their face.

Bob Ashby

Las Vegas

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