A collection of prominent center-right leaders, including multiple top Bush administration officials, have founded a new advocacy group to advocate for measures exempting religious organizations from federal rules governing contraception coverage, POLITICO has learned.I don't think the HHS mandate can survive a Supreme Court challenge and maybe a group like this can expedite the process.
Among those involved in planning the group are former presidential adviser Mary Matalin, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, former RNC Chairman and Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, former Rep. Bill Paxon, former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and New York Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik.
Their 501(c)4 organization, Conscience Cause, is aimed at “stopping the implementation of a Department of Health and Human Services regulation which would compel people and organizations to pay for drugs and services that violate their faith,” according to a statement shared with POLITICO.
Both Nicholson and Flynn are former ambassadors to the Vatican; Flynn is the lone Democrat in the group, though he has endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
In an interview Monday, Matalin said the group is not intended to be an instrument of partisan politics, but rather to refocus the debate over HHS regulations on the issue of religious freedom.
“I love the Church, I love the Constitution. This is at the crossroads,” she said. “Voters, when they think through this, will understand what it’s about. It is absolutely not about contraception, which there is not a problem. And this group – I want to make this clear – does not have a uniform view of contraception.”
Flynn echoed that message in a statement, calling the HHS rule a challenge to “freedom and the protection of our religious values.”
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Well, somebody's got to do it: