In his speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009 President Barack Obama stressed the importance of the freedom of religion in the United States.
“Freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion,” the president said during his speech given at Cairo University.
“That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That’s why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it.”
In 2009 in Egypt, the president was addressing the Islamic community, but currently, the Obama Administration is in a debate about the freedom of religion with Catholics here in the U.S.
The Obama administration intends to enforce a regulation that requires all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations, abortion pills and contraceptives.
Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable institutions would not be exempt from the regulation, nor would Catholic individuals, business owners, or insurers.
Because the Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception, and abortion are morally wrong and that Catholics cannot be involved in them, and because the Obamacare requires that all individual purchase health insurance and that larger employers provide health insurance to their workers or face a penalty, the regulation would force Catholics to act against the teachings of their faith and against their consciences.
As questions over this issue continue, White House Spokesperson Jay Carney says the administration is committed to the decision. The rule is not set to take effect until 2013 so officials can work with those concerned, because the president is “interested in finding the appropriate balance between religious beliefs” and the “president’s commitment” to make sure women have access to these services.
Catholic Bishops across the nation have announced they will not comply with the Obamacare rule.