A furtive political calculation: Playing both sides to the middle…

Several days back, The Motley Monk posted on his website concerning MaterniT21 and the Obamacare regulations recommended by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, scheduled to take effect next year.  They mandate the federal government (i.e., taxpayers) to pay for the MaterniT21 test.



Predictably, those who are pro-life expressed outrage…and rightly so.  MaterniT21 increases the likelihood that mothers who are 10 weeks pregnant—that’s when the test becomes 99% accurate—will elect to have their Down syndrome child aborted.

Then, surprise…surprise.

According to an Associated Press report, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius overruled the Federal Drug Administration and decided to stop the Plan B morning-after pill (RU 386/486 ) from moving onto drugstore shelves, right next to condoms.  The FDA determination would have made the pill available to people of any age without a prescription.  Sebelius said that she was worried about whether 11-year-old girls would know how to use the pill properly.



Predictably, pro-choice advocates were outraged.

Dr. Robert Block of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called Secretary Sebelius ruling “medically inexplicable.”  Block contends that over-the-counter access to emergency contraception would lower the high number of unplanned pregnancies.

A professor of pediatric and adolescent medicine at the University of Washington and AAP member, Dr. Cora Breuner, said: “I don’t think 11-year-olds go into Rite Aid and buy anything, much less a single pill that costs about $50.”

In his Esquire blog, Charles R. Pierce was besides himself:

This is all on Sebelius—and on the president for whom she works—because she overruled her own panel of experts, which those of us who know a little of the history of Holy Mother Church in this area know is never a good idea. In 1968, Pope Paul VI was handed a report from his Pontifical Commission on Birth Control that explained, in detail, why HMC should change its position on  artificial birth control. The pope threw out his commission’s recommendations and issued Humanae Vitae, an encyclical that banned all artificial  birth control and, as an added bonus, pretty much guaranteed that millions of American Catholics would never listen seriously to what any pope said about anything, but especially about what they did during sexy time. The subsequent revelation that HMC had been functioning as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice in regards to what its clergy were doing during sexy-time also did not help.

Stupid, Kathleen. And pointless. They’re going to hate you anyway.

Yes, indeed.  The Obama administration and its agents—in this case, a Catholic—fully intend to decrease the frequency of abortion in the United States, as President Barack Obama promised Pope Benedict on July 10, 2009.

How might this lack of consistency be explained?

It’s simple: President Barack Obama is running for re-election.

The President has now successfully positioned himself to tout his “pro-life” and “pro-choice” credentials.  It’s all part of a “grand narrative” that can be portrayed in television commercials: When it comes to the issues of life, Mr. Obama isn’t the extreme leftist that those on the political right would portray him as being not is he the moderate that those on the political left would portray him as being.

No, the President is “independently minded,” just like that large chunk of the electorate he is trying to sway to his camp.


Let the discussion begin…



To read The Motley Monk’s post concerning MaterniT21, click on the following link:

To read the Associated Press report, click on the following link:

To read Charles R. Pierce’s blog, click on the following link:

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The Motley Monk

The Motley Monk is Fr. Richard Jacobs, O.S.A., a Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University. His academic specialities include: organizational theory; leadership ethics; Catholic educational leadership; and, U.S. Catholic educational history. Check out Fr. Jacobs' daily blog at http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html.


  1. Bush supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage for clearly political reasons and no other. It’s what politicians do. Yet where was the criticism of Bush from the right for ulterior motives? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? You’re criticizing Obama for doing the right thing!

  2. “Bush supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage for clearly political reasons and no other.”

    Wow! You know him. Its great he shares his inner thoughts with you.

  3. Hardly. Obama is constantly giving signals that his stance is wholly insincere:

    “Thompson, then a traveling aide, recalls long conversations about topics like the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion that sparked the gay rights movement, gay adoption — Mr. Obama once volunteered that Mr. Thompson and his partner would make “great parents,” Mr. Thompson recalled — and same-sex marriage, which Mr. Obama has in the past opposed.

    Mr. Thompson, an Obama supporter, is skeptical about that. “To this day,” he said, “I don’t think Barack Obama has any issue with two people of the same gender getting married.”

    Now President Obama says his views on same-sex marriage are “evolving,” and as he runs for re-election he is seeking support from gay donors who want to know where he stands.

    This week, he will headline a $1,250-a-plate “Gala with the Gay Community” in Manhattan, his first such event as president; on June 29, he will host a Gay Pride reception at the White House. He is doing so at time when the New York Legislature is considering whether to make same-sex marriage legal — a vote that the president will no doubt be asked about while in New York.

    The White House would not comment on whether Mr. Obama was ready to endorse same-sex marriage. But one Democratic strategist close to the White House, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, said some senior advisers “are looking at the tactics of how this might be done if the president chose to do it.”

    And Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is gay, said in an interview that a top adviser to Mr. Obama, whom he would not name, asked him this year, “What would be the effect if he came out for same-sex marriage?”

    “My own view is that I look at President Obama’s record, he was probably inclined to think that same-sex marriage was legitimate, but as a candidate for president in 2008 that would have been an unwise thing to say,” Mr. Frank said. “And I don’t mean that he’s being hypocritical. I mean that if you live in a democratic society, it is a mix of what you think the voters want and what you think is doable.”

    Many gay leaders say because the president has a strong record on issues they care about — prodding Congress to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which barred openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military, and withdrawing legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman — he is not under intense pressure to announce a change in his position before the 2012 election. ”


  4. Maybe someone got a clue-by-four to the head and realized that a slew of cases of “boyfriends” putting these in women’s drinks, or of beating deaths when a girl refuses to take them, might look bad? Plus the death-by-side effects?
    It’s a lot more direct than the deaths because a woman refuses to get an abortion, since a gal who’s scared can agree then ditch, which isn’t possible if they’re standing there with the pill. (I remember a case where a guy put an abortion drug in his female-friend’s drink after they had sex, but I couldn’t find any details on it because so many responses suggesting guys do exactly that came up.)

  5. “Sebelius said that she was worried about whether 11-year-old girls would know how to use the pill properly.”

    El crap olitics.
    She (and her boss, “worried”, on evening news, brought up his two daughters and the fact that this latest wonder drug would be accessible as the nearby bubblegum – cheap trick) as a Secretary of Health and Human Service and as a Catholic could muster more trust if she showed concern about the proliferation of 11 year olds even being aware of, never mind practicing, the cause to buy the drug. What about a show of human service and concern for health-y formation of children as humans with dignity, who will learn that their future diseases were a result of betrayal by those facilitating leaders.
    The over the counter availability will probably morph into inventory in school nurse offices. Profit rules no matter what – unless it’s govern-mental coffers.

  6. Oh, and as to the title of this, the city’s newly elected mayor received an invitation to a party from the President. He’s 22 yrs. old and declared himself not heterosexual during his campaign.

  7. “Phillip, I have the same connection to Bush’s inner thoughts as MM does to Obama’s.”


    MM has actually presented his reasoning for his assertion that Obama is engaged in pure politics. You have offered nothing other than your simple statement. Perhaps you can give us a bit of evidence for your claim so we can see if it is as persuasive as MM’s.

    Or perhaps your argument is as good as your erroneous argument about the effects of Plan B in another thread.

  8. My good people of America. You still have not understood what you have as a President??? Well, I have news for you….. we have his cousin here in his father-land, Kenya. The Virtue called “Human Dignity” is alien to them. To grab power by any means they “speak with forked tongues”. You are in for a merry-go-round and you shall repeat the same mistake you did four years ago and re-elect him. And Satan will have a helluva of a Party that His High Priest is still in Power and fighting Christ all over the world where America has a strangle-hold of influence. Holy Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us who have recourse to You. Intercede for Your Son’s Bride in America and where this oh, so great a Nation holds sway because She is under the virulent and vicious persecution by this Agent of Evil

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