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MSNBC Guest: Catholic Bishops ‘Imposing On The Rest Of The Country’s Religious Freedom’

The Catholic archdiocese of New York headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as well as more than 40 other Catholic diocese and organizations around the country, announced on Monday that they were suing the Obama administration for violating their religious rights due to contraception mandates contained within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. In an MSNBC panel discussion on the matter, Salon.com editor Joan Walsh said that it was the Catholic bishops that were imposing on the religious freedoms of most Americans who support those mandates.

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MSNBC host Alex Wagner asked Walsh to weigh in on this latest development, noting that “this thing is not going away any time soon.”

Walsh said that despite the lawsuit mounted by dozens of major Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, many other Catholic organization are comfortable with the contraception mandates contained within the health care reform law.

“Major Catholic institutions are perfectly happy with the compromise that the administration reached earlier this year,” said Walsh. “They are fighting a losing battle.”

Walsh went on to criticize those Catholic institutions that have criticized the contraception mandates on constitutional grounds for their understanding of religious freedom.

“They’ve got the idea of religious freedom backwards, frankly,” said Walsh. “They are imposing on the rest of the country’s religious freedom with the opposition to this mandate. People want this; Catholic people want this – as we learned, 98 percent of Catholic women at some point in their lifetimes used contraception. So, this is so outrageous and such an overreach by Bishop Dolan. Really disappointing.”

Wagner went on to say that she believes this move by the Catholic archbishops further alienates women voters and makes them further inclined to support President Obama. Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart agreed, saying that Republicans want to talk about the economy and elevating the contraception issue is bad for the GOP.

Watch the segment below via MSNBC:

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