The Independent Women's Forum takes no position on the abortion question. We know that people have passionate, deeply-held beliefs on the issue.  We know that among the women affiliated with IWF there are many different views on the question of the extent to which abortion should be legal.

But outrage with the HHS mandate about “free” contraceptive-services coverage has nothing to do with the question of abortion, or anyone's particular view about the morality of the contraceptive services that are covered by the mandate. It's the mandate itself—the idea of government forcing people to take action that's against their moral code—that's the outrage.

An HHS requirement forbidding health insurers from offering comprehensive coverage of legal contraceptive practices would be just as outrageous.

That's why those who celebrate this mandate should be warned: The power government accumulates today and uses to advance your agenda could be used against you tomorrow.

Charlotte made this point yesterday, and pointed out an article by NRO's Jonah Goldberg, but I thought it was worth highlighting again.

Goldberg warns liberals who recoil at the thought of social-conservative Senator Rick Santorum as President to consider if they really want the government—the executive branch no less—vested with making such sweeping proclamations about what people must and must not do. As he writes:

…let’s imagine the [Santorum] caricature is fair and he really is the boogeyman Rachel Maddow and Co. say he is. Worse, all his talk about “freedom” is just code for the right-wing version of progressive social engineering, i.e., he wants to turn women into breeders á la The Handmaid’s Tale.

Is that who you want in charge of your health care? If not him, what about some other conservative president down the road?

It’s really this simple: A government empowered to steamroll the people with the rosaries has the same power to trample the citizens with the ovaries. If you’re afraid of Rick Santorum, you should be afraid of Obamacare.

The issue of abortion and contraception is a distraction from the core issue at stake in this HHS mandate. The core issues are what are the proper limits of government, and are we a people tolerant enough to respect that others have differing views?

There is nothing pro-choice about the HHS mandate.