WASHINGTON – James Dobson, founder of Family Talk Radio, a harsh critic of Barack Obama and an opponent to the president in court, on Thursday described him as the “abortion president” during an address at the National Day of Prayer.
Dobson, whose organization recently won a court fight against Obama over a mandate in Obamacare that would have required his ministry to pay for abortifacients, has not been shy about challenging the president on his abortion agenda.
At one point during the fight over the imposition of the abortifacient mandate, he said to the president, “Come and get me. I will not yield to your wicked regulations.”
The fact that Obama is more supportive of abortion than any other chief executive in the U.S. was touted by none other than Planned Parenthood.
In a report on his 2013 keynote address to a gala by Planned Parenthood, the largest player in the nation’s abortion industry, Cecile Richards, chief of the organization, said “President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights. He understands that access to birth control and preventive health care are economic issues for women and their families.
“We fought alongside him to ensure that women’s health access was expanded in the landmark Affordable Care Act, and now we have to fight hard to ensure that the full promise of health care reform is realized for millions of women.”
At the prayer day events, where he was one of several speakers, Dobson described how Obama said he would become the abortion president, and how he has.
“He has made it so that every American will have to pay toward support abortion,” he said, noting the $250 million in taxpayer funds that already goes toward Planned Parenthood’s funding.
He implored listeners to “keep fighting … We can win. And keep praying because that’s what really made a difference here.”
Dobson wrote then in a note to friends, “We are celebrating and thanking the Lord this morning. Victory is ours. We won our case against [former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and the Obama administration.”
He continued, “Judge Blackburn wrote a powerful statement, which even used pro-life language, (i.e., referring to a ‘human fetus’). He defended my right to follow the dictates of my conscience. It was eloquent.”
He explained then what the ministry and its few dozen employees were facing.
“The mandate requiring that we provide abortifacients such as the morning after pill would have begun on May 1st. After that, if we hadn’t prevailed, fines amounting to $800,000 per year would have kicked in,” he said.
“We would have closed our doors.”
Dobson noted the lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom, who handled the legal work for his ministry.
“Alan [Sears, of the ADF] said this is one of the most significant religious liberty cases in American history, because never before has a citizen been required by a chief executive to take the life of another human being,” he said.
He then recalled what he had written earlier, in a commentary about the issue.
“I believe in the rule of law, and it has been my practice since I was in college to respect and honor those in authority over us. It is my desire to do so now. However, this assault on the sanctity of human life takes me where I cannot go. I WILL NOT pay the surcharge for abortion services. The amount of the surcharge is irrelevant. To pay one cent for the killing of babies is egregious to me, and I will do all I can to correct a government that lies to me about its intentions and then tries to coerce my acquiescence with extortion. It would be a violation of my most deeply held convictions to disobey what I consider to be the principles in Scripture. The Creator will not hold us guiltless if we turn a deaf ear to the cries of His innocent babies. So come and get me if you must, Mr. President. I will not bow before your wicked regulation.”
The Family Talk case was among more than 100 lawsuits brought by religious ministries, individuals and organizations and companies against Obama’s health-care takeover on the grounds it violates the religious rights of Christians by forcing them to pay for abortion-causing procedures.
When the lawsuit was filed on his behalf in 2013, Dobson, who founded Family Talk in 2010, explained: “We are suing [then-HHS Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius for forcing or trying to force all of us to give abortifacient medications to our employees, and I just absolutely refuse to do it. We’ll close down before I’ll do it.”
The vast majority of the rulings in the lawsuits have favored the Christians, but a federal precedent is expected to be set this year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which accepted for argument a pair of cases.
Oral arguments in the Conestoga Wood and Hobby Lobby cases already have been held.
The Obama administration had demanded that Family Talk’s third-party insurance administrator provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices to Family Talk employees.
Whether the employees want the products is irrelevant under the Obamacare mandate, which requires the provision regardless of the beliefs of the employer and employees.
As a Christian ministry, Family Talk’s self-insured health plan excludes coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices. But the complaint notes that if Family Talk does not comply with the mandate’s requirements by May 1, it will be subject to fines up to $36,500 per employee annually.
“The government has put religious employers to a cruel choice: ‘Abandon your religious beliefs or be fined out of existence,’” said ADF lead counsel Matthew Bowman when the case was launched. “Thankfully, the Constitution and other federal laws don’t allow that.”
The Obama administration was asked to provide an exemption for religious employers, but officials defined the exemption so narrowly that workers at Christian colleges, nursing homes, soup kitchens and parachurch ministries are not protected.
“According to the administration, Family Talk is not ‘religious enough’ for an exemption,” said Martin Nussbaum of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP, who is serving as co-counsel in the lawsuit. “Yet sanctity of life and protecting the unborn have long been core religious convictions for Dr. Dobson and Family Talk.”
Dobson founded Family Talk in March 2010. Its centerpiece is a daily 30-minute radio broadcast, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk,” that seeks to reach young and old with the Judeo-Christian worldview of the family. Dobson earlier founded Focus on the Family, but is not longer affiliated.
The lawsuit charges the government violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First and Fifth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Dobson said then his ministry “believes in living out the religious convictions we hold to and talk about on the air.”
The theme for the 2014 paryer observance is “One Voice, United in Prayer,” emphasizing the need for people, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities and men.
To further highlight the message, the National Prayer Task Force has chosen Romans 15:6 as a theme verse: “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The special observance is hosted by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.
Other speakers included Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of Rev. Billy Graham), Shirley Dobson, Vonette Bright, Bob McEwen, Rep. Mike McIntyre, Don Moen, Chaplain Father Patrick Conroy, Dick Eastman, David Butts and John Bornschein.