I wrote back in August about how ludicrous Obama's regulation forcing all health plans to cover free contraception was (without even a copay!) but I totally missed how it would have an impact on Catholic institutions. That really just makes it even more outrageous. I don't seem to remember a Right to Free Employer-Funded Contraception anywhere in the constitution or the Bill of Rights, but I certainly remember a Freedom of Religion. And it's not like we are talking about some weird sect who believes that God told them to use lots of cocaine and have sex with prostitutes so they should be exempt from drug and vice laws, we are talking about the Catholic Church which has held this belief about contraception since before it was the Catholic Church (passages in Genesis and Deuteronomy condemn contraception, so if you are Obama, you can blame the Jews once again). Effectively, this is the same thing as forcing Hebrew Schools to offer ham and cheese sandwiches in their cafeterias. Or what some of the more anti-semitic European countries have done which is ban the kosher slaughter of animals under the guise of preventing cruelty to animals. What right exactly does the government have to say which of your long held religious beliefs you are allowed to follow and which ones are just not considered to be in the best interest of the "public"?
Anyway, I think it is only a matter of time, possibly just days, before Obama folds on this issue. Yes, he is going to piss off his base but if he does nothing he really is going to piss off the Catholics and that could cost him the election. I know that most Catholics aren't religious and won't change their mind because of this issue but because there are so many Catholics out there, it won't take much to swing some battleground states to the GOP column. For example, Pennsylvania is 53% Catholic and even before this he only had a 1% lead in the polls there. A very small swing on the margin could cost him 20 electoral votes very quickly. You definitely could see a scenario where other historically blue states turn red because of this issue, like New Jersey (39% Catholic), New Hampshire (35% Catholic) and Wisconsin (29% Catholic). This issue could be the impetus which gets a higher percentage of Latinos to vote Republican, which would put Florida (26% Catholic) squarely in the GOP column. Assuming of course that the GOP nominates someone with an actual pro-life record (hint: It's not Romney).