Jan Crawford: Religious Objection to Contraception Mandate 'Could Scale Back' ObamaCare

November 27th, 2013 3:52 PM

On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".

Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Substitute anchor Jeff Glor trumpeted the "the fight over religious freedom" as he previewed the correspondent's report. Minutes later, anchor Norah O'Donnell led into Crawford's segment by noting that "White House officials fear a crush of new users will crash the health care website this weekend. The administration promised the website would be fixed by this weekend." O'Donnell continued that "the health care law faces another challenge. The Supreme Court is agreeing to take up two cases, and they involve companies refusing contraception benefits for workers based on religious beliefs."

The CBS journalist began with her "another fight on his hands" line, and wasted little time before playing two soundbites from Andy Newland, who owns of one of the companies that challenged the ObamaCare mandate in federal court. She then gave some background on the impending Supreme Court case:

JAN CRAWFORD: It was just over a year ago that the Supreme Court narrowly upheld a provision at the heart of the law: the requirement that all Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty. Now, the Court will take up a more emotional challenge. It's been brewing across the country, as dozens of employers filed lawsuits objecting to the birth control requirement in ObamaCare as violating their religious freedom.

Crawford provided the other side of the debate by playing two clips from liberal Representative Diana DeGette, who asserts that "for-profit corporations don't have religious rights", and claims that the Affordable Cart Act "exempts religious groups and organizations from those same requirements". However, DeGette glossed over the fact that two religious employers – Catholic TV network EWTN and the Little Sisters of the Poor religious community – have both critciized this exemption as being too narrow.

Near the end of the segment, the CBS correspondent emphasized that "the problem for the Obama administration is that all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law. And now, you've got these religious employers saying the law is forcing them to violate their deeply-held beliefs."