Two of the top news stories this past week have revolved around reproductive rights, though both raise far more troubling issues than a woman’s right to contraception or abortion.

The more compelling questions concern a person’s or an institution’s freedom of conscience and the right to act upon one’s moral beliefs without fear of intimidation and/or government coercion.

Both cases — one involving the Catholic Church and the other, Susan G. Komen for the Cure — deal with the ongoing conflict between the pro-life and pro-choice camps. And both are exposing the dangerous extent to which some pro-choice advocates, including the president of the United States, are willing to tread on fundamental freedoms in order to impose and secure ideological purity.

To recap: Komen created a firestorm with its recent decision to stop donating about $680,000 a year to Planned Parenthood. (On Friday, Komen released a statement noting that Planned Parenthood will be eligible for future grants, although they won’t be guaranteed.) The money was supposed to be used for breast cancer screening. Most Planned Parenthood affiliates don’t do mammograms, but refer women elsewhere, sometimes reimbursing them using Komen funds.

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