Obama: Your conscience means nothing to me…UPDATED

I’ve been waiting for this story and knew it would come – dropped on a Friday night, of course:

Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration today will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows healthcare workers to deny abortion counseling or other family planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs, according to administration officials.

The rollback of the so-called conscience rule comes just two months after the Bush administration announced it late last year in one of its final policy initiatives.

The spin, of course, is that the Bush law was “confusing in scope.” That it needs “clarification.”

Apparently it is a very complex thing for someone to say, “no, I cannot in good conscience do this,” on issues which – despite the euphemistic language in which both abortion and contraception have long-been shrouded – truly involve matters of life and death or (at the minimum) moral consequence.

A person may believe she is free to take a “morning after pill,” and a second person might even agree with the first that she is free to do that. This does not mean that – if the second person is convinced the thing is an abortifacient – he or she should be compelled by law to deny his or her own conscience and dispense the drug. The point is even clearer in the case of abortion. A doctor may even be “pro-choice” but personally unwilling to perform an abortion and he or she should be free to make that choice.

When people believe their own soul is in peril if they participate in an action, the conscientious objection should be sustained. It always has been, before.

Can it be sustainable in Obamaland, or is this very fundamental sort of American freedom to be denied her citizenry in service to expedient (and monetarily lucrative) politics?

If we are going to be a nation that supports the “freedom to choose,” then it seems to me that has to go both ways. Professional health workers should be “free to choose” whether or not they will participate in what they find to be morally objectionable.

Freedom that is only one-sided i.e., “she is free to have a late term, partial-birth abortion and you are not free to refuse her request” or “she is free to demand this contraception and you are not free to refuse to fill that prescription,” is not really freedom.

It is enslavement. Dress it up any way you want. If the government is forcing you to do what your conscience tells you not to, under threats to your freedom, your purse or your livelihood, then you are not free.

But you know, the other night, when Obama addressed the joint houses of Congress, he only used the world “freedom” once. Just once. It’s not really what he’s about. Not really on his radar.

He appears to be more about…well…I won, and I am the president and you will live the way I think you should live, so I will make all of your choices for you, and you will obey.

This is not a president who is all about freedom, like the last American president.

Control, yes. Lots and lots of control. But freedom…not so much.

I wonder…once health professionals are compelled to prescribe or to abort, against their consciences, it won’t be a very big step toward demanding that they kill “compassionately put-to-rest” those whose quality of life is deemed “insufficient” by the government’s measure. Or, you know…those who are simply becoming too expensive to keep alive on “the taxpayers dime.”

Because when it comes down to Socialized Medicine “universal health care” a Ted Kennedy – who is useful, rich and connected – may be deemed worth treating and saving. But you and I, mere peons without “friends, money or connections” – we’d be a drain on the taxpayer’s dear purse.

Ed Morrissey has a good analysis over at Hot Air – one that puts out the fires, a bit.

Another article on Obama’s plans.

UPDATE I: From a blog I don’t think I have ever seen before:

Any state that claims the competence to make all decisions for its subjects must of course brook no opposition. All must go along with the program. In the words of that great humanitarian and promoter of big government, Benito Mussolini, “Everything in the State. Nothing outside the State. Nothing against the State.”

Whether you call this state socialist or fascist will not matter, for the essentials are the same in both cases—more controls, more taxation, more government, less liberty.

UPDATE II: An interesting perspective from Mona Charen:

It will be difficult to resist this charismatic figure, but let’s be clear about this: Though he denies what he is about, he is pulling the country dangerously toward a statist dead end.

Related:
“Catholics for Obama” may very soon come to feel they’ve been played by Obama, pretty much as Martin Peretz is beginning to feel…or discover.