Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this column was previously published by Creators Syndicate

A few months ago, the press started remarking upon Donald Trump’s difficulties winning over American Catholics. A Google search for “Donald Trump Catholic problem” reveals more than a dozen such pieces, including National Review, July 18: “Donald Trump’s Catholic problem”; Forbes, August 23: “Trump has a Catholic problem”; Patch.com, August 29: “Donald Trump’s Catholic Problem”; New York Magazine, August 30: “Trump has a Catholic problem. But how bad is it?”; The Washington Post, August 30: “Donald Trump has a massive Catholic problem.”

Some of this apparent astonishment is pure posturing. We already know that evangelical Protestants are more likely to vote for conservative Republicans. Catholics have a great deal of recent immigration in their family histories, a natural sympathy for those discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity, and a devotion to a decidedly leftish view of “social justice”—all of which make them far more receptive to Democrat candidates’ positions. This has been borne out in presidential elections for the past 25 years: 47 percent of Catholics voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. (In his second term, that number rose to 55 percent.) Barack Obama got 53 percent of the Catholic vote in 2008 and 49 percent (Romney received 48 percent) in 2012.

Donald Trump’s bombastic personality, his comments about illegal immigrants, and various aspects of his personal life do not sit well with many Catholics. By late summer, pollsters and others were already predicting that well over 50 percent of American Catholics would vote for Hillary Clinton. Recent revelations about Trump’s vulgar language in 2005 may well have driven that percentage higher.

But voting for Clinton should give Catholic voters far more pause than it apparently does.

Let’s be honest: there’s a pattern to the media’s opportunistic lovefest with Catholic voters. It’s rather like “moderate” Republican primary candidates: the press loves to trot them out and fawn all over them until they become the nominee. Then the long knives come out. Thus, for a group that despises Donald Trump the way the press does, Catholics suddenly become a terribly important constituency to make happy.  But once the presidential election is over, Catholics’ pesky opposition to abortion, assisted suicide, and sexual activity outside of marriage will make them anathema again.

At least, that’s the way it usually goes. But the Wikileaks release of email exchanges between Clinton campaign operatives John Podesta, Sandy Newman, John Halpin, and Jennifer Palmieri gave premature exposure to their disdain for Catholics (conservative Catholics in particular), referring to their beliefs as “backwards,” and “bastardization of the faith.” Newman calls for a “Catholic Spring” to overthrow “a middle ages dictatorship,” and Podesta responds that they created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United for just such a purpose.

There is every reason to think that Hillary Clinton shares this viewpoint. At the sixth Women in the World Summit last year, she argued that “far too many women were denied access” to abortion, saying, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” No religious institution has opposed abortion with more fervor or consistency than the Catholic Church.

Indeed, it is Hillary Clinton’s loyalty to “Big Abortion,” her support for abortion on demand without restrictions, and the implications for her Supreme Court picks that should concern Catholics, and anyone else with a modicum of respect for constitutional liberties.

Far too many Catholics see the issue as strictly one of the legality of abortion, and thus a thing decided. In conversations with my own Catholic friends who are #NeverTrumps or other erstwhile Hillary supporters, their argument goes something like, “Abortion is already legal, and you can’t be a one-issue voter.”

With respect, abortion’s legality is not the issue. It is the confluence of other legal trends applied to abortion that I think bodes ill for Catholics (and other Christians) under a Hillary Clinton administration.

First, Clinton has promised to repeal the Hyde Amendment. This will force all taxpayers to subsidize and pay for abortions.

Second, an increasing number of state laws pose a threat to religious liberties. California just passed the Reproductive FACT Act—a law which requires pro-life centers to refer patients to abortion providers, on pain of crippling fines. Pro-life centers have been fighting the enforcement of this law in federal court, but have lost up through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A similar law goes into effect in Illinois in January of next year. (It, too, is being challenged in the courts.)

Third, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act presents ominous prospects for expanding abortion.

I have always maintained that the HHS contraception mandate was a stalking horse. Most people—including most Catholics—don’t care much about contraception. But the Obama administration was field-testing the precedent of having an unaccountable regulatory agency issue a controversial regulation.  

It is easy to contemplate how a comparable regulation could be written in a Hillary Clinton administration, making abortion mandatory care under the Affordable Care Act, which would thereafter have to be covered by insurance policies and paid for by employers. If the public resists, it would take congressional legislation to overturn it; legislation that a Democrat president would swiftly veto.

Furthermore, as Clinton herself noted in her speech last year, a federal mandate means nothing if there are few doctors who will perform elective abortions, or few hospitals where they are allowed to be performed. The next step must therefore be to compel physicians and hospitals to perform and offer abortions or lose their licenses. This is the tactic we have seen with gay marriage activists who have sued florists, cake makers, and photographers who did not wish to participate in gay marriage ceremonies.

The legal validity of any such cases, as well as the staying power of federal regulations or state legislation will inevitably be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court. And this is where the Supreme Court’s disposition towards religious liberty arguments becomes so critical. Defendants in gay marriage cases have attempted—largely unsuccessfully—to assert religious objections—just as the Green family did when they objected to paying for certain abortifacient contraception in the Hobby Lobby case.

The Greens won at the Supreme Court, but it was a 5-4 decision, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent made her own views quite clear. Ginsburg objected to the idea that “commercial enterprises” would be allowed to assert “sincerely held religious beliefs” that, as she viewed it, interfered with the “compelling government interest in uniform compliance with the law.”

How would that play out if abortion were to become “covered care” within the meaning of the Affordable Care Act? Hospitals are commercial enterprises. Doctors’ offices are commercial enterprises. How will Catholic and other Christian medical providers who oppose abortion (and assisted suicide, by the way) fare in a Supreme Court with Hillary Clinton appointees; a court where Justice Ginsburg’s views are the majority?

Nor are these arguments limited to the legal sphere; the push to characterize the obligation to perform abortions and assist with patient suicides as a matter of professional ethics is already in full swing in academic circles. In last month’s issue of the journal Bioethics, authors and ethics professors Julian Savulescu and Udo Schuklenk argue that “Doctors Have No Right to Refuse Medical Assistance in Dying, Abortion, or Contraception.” They would remove almost all conscience and religious objections. Their answer is to force objecting physicians out of the profession. (“If a doctor views abortion as an evil, she should not be a gynaecologist or a GP.”)

We have a choice between two deeply flawed individuals for president of the United States. It therefore comes down to a question of which one is most likely to govern according to his or her worst instincts. Donald Trump is boorish and vulgar. Do I think that Donald Trump will use the power of the presidency to try to codify policies promoting sexual vulgarity? That is highly unlikely.

Do I have reason to conclude that Hillary Clinton will use every tool at her disposal to force taxpayer subsidies of abortion, expand the Affordable Care Act to include abortion and euthanasia, and compel Christian physicians and hospitals to provide these “services”? Do I think that she will appoint Supreme Court justices whose opinions will trample the religious beliefs of Catholics and other Christians?

Her words and actions—and those of her campaign staff—make the answers to those questions crystal clear: Yes.

Objections to a Hillary Clinton presidency are not just “about abortion.” They are grounded in concerns about executive overreach, an unaccountable regulatory state, an overpowered judiciary, and serious potential threats to religious freedom as a result.

This should give Hillary a serious problem among serious Catholics.

Laura Hollis teaches business law and entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business, is a concurrent Associate Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School, and is a faculty advisor to the Irish Rover.