In what can only be described as a deer-in-the-headlights question-and-answer session during a town hall event on Friday, Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) uttered some bizarre statements about the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate. The Lancaster, New York, event led to both boos and jeers for the congresswoman, but her statements also rised more serious questions regarding how the administration -- and the Democratic Party -- views the U.S. Constitution.
Video taken of the exchange is telling.
"Under what portion of the constitution is the government allowed to require a private or a religious organization to pay for anything for free," asked one of her constituents.
Hochul's response was more than stunning.
"Well, basically, we're not looking to the Constitution on that aspect," Hochul said, with her comment being followed by cheers, applause -- even gasps.
But the situation only became more contentious from there. As if this comment weren't startling enough (after all, the constitution is the blueprint for American governance), she continued.
"What I'm trying to say is -- basically, the decision has been made by this congress that American citizens are entitled to healthcare, because the teachings that I was raised under -- we take care of the...sick --"
Before she could finish her statement, her questioner interrupted, saying, "We are also entitled to the freedoms under the First Amendment of the Constitution. That comes before any other freedoms. So, then we have to look at the Constitutions."
"And I agree with you sir," she said, as he was still explaining his take on religious freedom.
"I will stand and protect religious freedoms...," Hochul continued. "But I don't see a conflict here when Catholic Churches are exempted from this...requirement. I treasure religious freedom in this country -- we all do."
It was then that the man doing the questioning pointed out that hospitals and colleges that are attached to churches are also considered religious institutions and that they, too, should be protected. But it was his next question that left the congresswoman speechless.
"So why don't we provide free access to band-aids or cancer screenings...?," he asked. "Aren't those more important to health care than contraception?"
After a long pause, Hochul said, "Well, clearly more work needs to be done. You're raising excellent points."
Watch the bizarre and epic exchange take form, below:
WGRZ-TV caught up with the congresswoman following the town hall. During the interview, Hochul dismissed the concern over her stance on the contraceptive mandate:
Here's more on the incident:
(H/T: Freedom's Lighthouse)