Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, on Sunday unsurprisingly defended Hobby Lobby, the company challenging the rule under Obamacare that for-profit employers’ health plans must cover contraceptives for female employees at no extra cost.
But in his defense of religious liberty, Dolan incorrectly claimed that women already have access to widely available contraceptives at “any shop on any street in America,” namely 7-Eleven.
“I would be inspired by the Hobby Lobby,” Dolan said on Sunday’s “Face The Nation.” “I think they’re just true Americans. They’re saying, look, the genius of America is that religious convictions affect the way we act… They sure have my admiration.”
“But doesn’t that set a dangerous precedent?” host Norah O’Donnell asked. “If a private company can use religion to deny benefits to its employees?”
“It could and as you know they’re arguing that and the Supreme Court in the past if I understand correctly has said in general that bias is on the side of rights of conscience and religious liberty,” Dolan responded. “There may be occasions where that is so detrimental to the common good that it will outweigh it.”
“Is this one of them?” he continued. “I mean, is the ability to buy contraceptives that are now widely available — my Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-Eleven or any shop on any street in America and have access to them — is that right to access those and have them paid for, is that such a towering good that it would suffocate the rights of conscience? I don’t think so.”
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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.