Catholic leaders took their battle with the White House to the next level on Monday, vowing to challenge its decision to force Catholic institutions to cover birth control as part of the new health care law.
As has been widely reported, Catholic priests railed against the decision this past Sunday in pews across the nation.
Catholic leaders view the White House’s decision as an encroachment on their religious freedom, and are determined to overturn this decision, even it means using its 70 million churchgoers to defeat President Obama in the upcoming election.
In an op-ed in USA Today on Monday, President Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, defended the ruling: “We specifically carved out from the policy religious organizations that primarily employ people of their own faith. This exemption includes churches and other houses of worship, and could also include other church-affiliated organizations.”
With neither side backing down, this fight could spill over into the election. Catholics are a large voting bloc and this fight has already become a talking point for people like Newt Gingrich who has said that President Obama is waging a war against religion.
President Obama won the Catholic vote in 2008, but it is uncertain whether he’ll be able to do the same this time around if the fight continues.