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'This Isn't a Theocracy,' NYT Editor Explains While Defending Obama Contraception Rule

Stop Compromising,” pleaded Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal on his “Loyal Opposition” blog Wednesday morning. Rosenthal was spooked after Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod suggested the president might be open to “compromise”on the administration’s plan requiring religious institutions to violate their beliefs and cover birth control in their employees’ health insurance plans. (Apparently compromise is no longer a good thing in Washington.) Rosenthal urged Obama to make a more full-throated defense of the rule, pointing out that “this isn’t a theocracy.”

 

Columnist Charles Blow joined in on Twitter: “The American government is in DC, not the Vatican.”

Rosenthal wrote, in part:

 

This really is a health issue, as opposed to a purely political matter. About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and expanding access to birth control could lower the abortion rate. The Institute of Medicine, an independent group of doctors and researchers, has called birth control a medical necessity (not a mere convenience) “to ensure women’s health and well-being.” I understand that the Catholic Church in particular feels strongly about birth control, but this isn’t a theocracy. Religious doctrine cannot dictate public policy. (That’s actually a conservative position, in the true meaning of the word.)

Columnist Charles Blow made the same arguments, taking to his Twitter feed early Wednesday afternoon to issue these gems:

Ppl use birth control in America...A LOT. Even Catholics. And thank God for it!!! #HHS If I had my druthers, they'd pass it out in church.

The American government is in DC, not the Vatican. I'm sorry. But, this has really gotten under my skin...