Obama compromise on birth control is commendable

I was relieved to hear that President Obama has shifted his stance a bit and stated that “religious organizations won’t have to pay for [contraceptive] services.” Instead, the onus is now upon insurers to offer those services to women employed by Catholic-affiliated organizations.

I think this is a commendable compromise. The original ruling required Catholic-affiliated organizations to pay for the contraceptive services of its employees.

Mandating Catholic organizations to fund actions that directly contradict deeply held religious beliefs is certainly an impingement on religious freedom and was an overstep by the Obama administration.

The issue at stake, here, is religious freedom. This is not about whether the majority of Americans have no moral qualms about contraceptive use. This is also NOT about the fact that many Catholics use birth control. It’s also not about whether the Church’s stance on birth control is outdated, ridiculous and ‘unfair.’

The real issue is this: the Constitution of the United States protects freedom of religion and no governmental entity is allowed to force private, faith-based groups to act against their religious beliefs. 

Nobody is forcing anyone to work for a Catholic-affiliated organization. If you choose to be employed by a Catholic hospital, your Catholic employer is not going to pay for your birth control pills. As President of Ave Maria University in Florida stated:

“Our non-Catholic students and employees understand fully that the University must adhere to Catholic teaching and they do not expect us to provide such services.”

Like it or not, the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control is a deeply held religious belief. We can argue all day long about whether or not we agree with it–but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a religious belief and the government has no business strong-arming faith-based groups into funding actions that directly defy those beliefs.

I also heard the argument that if Catholic-affiliated organizations are receiving federal dollars then they are beholden to the will of the taxpayers and must provide the services the public demands. Really? How about considering that maybe Catholic organizations would rather stop taking federal funds than change their religious beliefs? I’m guessing the Church is more concerned about answering to a higher authority–and that authority is NOT the American President or even the almighty American taxpayer.

But thankfully, this situation didn’t come to a stand-off. I admire the President’s willingness to rework the ruling and take into account the sincere objections of faith-based organizations. Because as the archbishop of New York stated, “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.”

  • Anonymous

    “Like it or not, the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control is a deeply held religious belief. We can argue all day long about whether or not we agree with it–but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a religious belief and the government has no business strong-arming faith-based groups into funding actions that directly defy those beliefs.”

    This is exactly what I wanted to say all week as ppl kept talking about how most Catholics wanted contraceptive coverage. I’m also glad he found this compromise…though on FB someone else posted a reaction from the Register saying they think this is worse than before. As far as I’m concerned, this seems good…we were always going to be more effective at stopping our members from using contraception unnecessarily (note that modifier) by using reason and teaching, not by simply making it harder to get.

    • David Bates

      “I’m also glad he found this compromise ”

      The President may have found what *he* thinks is a compromise, but I doubt the Bishops are going to see it that way.”…using reason and teaching, not by simply making it harder to get”This isn’t about making contraception “harder to get”, it’s about forcing people to pay for something which they find morally objectionable.

      • Anonymous

        All I’m trying to say (and obviously making a mess of it) is that the fact that X # of Catholics wanting birth control coverage is irrelevant to the discussion–that this is about the Church being forced to provide for something it teaches is wrong. However, having this sort of policy at least spares the Church that part. What we have to do as Catholics is teach and reason with people, which is the *only* way we’re going to make any dent in the contraceptive culture, and also, for that matter, the abortion culture. We have to change hearts and minds to make an impact on these issues. The idea that contraception is indispensible is too ingrained in the culture to impact in any other way.

        • David Bates

          “However, having this sort of policy at least spares the Church that part. ”

          I’m not quite sure what you mean here. I *think* your saying that the President’s “compromise” means that the Church won’t have to pay for contraception, but as people have pointed out above, insurance companies don’t just give stuff away for free, they ultimately make their clients pay for it….in this case, Catholic employers. 

          “What we have to do as Catholics is teach and reason with people, which is the *only* way we’re going to make any dent in the contraceptive culture, and also, for that matter, the abortion culture”

          It  doesn’t mean that we just sit on our hands while conscience-violating legislation gets passed. For example, if “Roe vs Wade” was happening again today I would be morally compelled to do everything in my power to oppose it.

          It’s not an either-or though, it’s both.

        • Anonymous

           Kathleen, I think you are 100% right that Catholics have to teach and reason with people in an effort to change minds and hearts.  We need to know that not only is artificial contraception immoral, we need to understand why it is immoral.  The place where most Catholics are likely to hear the teachings is in Church.  But when have you ever heard a priest discuss this in his homily?  For me, the answer is never.  Yes, the information is “out there” in Church documents.  But your average good person isn’t going to read such documents. 

          If the average good person in the pew knew Church teaching and why the Church teaches that way, maybe more would eschew artificial means of birth control in favor of natural methods.  Maybe.

    • Michelle Hughes

      The Bishops are still standing against this (thank God) because it’s STILL NOT JUST.  Just forcing every insurance company to pay for birth control still means that if the church pays insurance premiums they STILL PAY FOR INTRINSIC EVIL. Great. I read a fairly scary article that spoke to what this could become…all of us paying for abortions, too.

      Anyway…for some reason, this posted on your comment Kate…but I just meant to comment in general.

      • Anonymous

        Heard that this morning, so I’ll withdraw the above comments as far as the insurance debate. However, I maintain that the most important thing we as Catholics can do to impact the larger debate–b/c let’s face it, if birth control wasn’t universal, we wouldn’t be having this debate at all–is to reach out and speak to people on a rational level about this topic. I think we have a tendency to get so passionate about the reproductive issues that we get blinders on and talk only about sin and moral issues, when the reality is that those moral issues have a deeply rational basis beneath them, and if we want to make a difference to those who *don’t* share our moral/religious convictions, we MUST use the rational to make our case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=760429521 Mary Lenaburg

    It’s not a compromise…it’s passing the buck. As Catholics we will still be paying for it, now in our higher insurance premiums. Nothing is for free. 

  • Brenna

    You know I love you, Elizabeth, but I disagree with you on this one. That said, yippee yippee yipee for your new ageny! I’m so proud of you! xoxo

    • Brenna

      I meant “agent”! Hello, I’m Brenna-I have a degree in English Literature and cannot spell. ;)

  • Christy

    So now they are strong arming everyone instead of only faith-based organizations, and we will ALL be paying for abortions and birth control. This is still an infringement on our freedoms, and an even more insideous one.

  • http://mamapsalmist.com/ mamapsalmist

    There is no way that no citizen in this country will ever pay money towards something he/she does not morally support.  If I believed an abortion was right and responsible for my family and my health, it would be astounding that my health insurance wouldn’t cover it.  If I believed that abortions were completely and utterly wrong, it would be astounding to ever pay money towards one.  In truth, both views exist in our country.  They will not come together in one simple, cohesive system.   It’s just not possible.  We are too diverse as a people.

    But I am pleased to see the compromise.  Perfect? No.  Commendable?  Yes.
    Years ago, I remember seeing something about a private health system someone had set up.  Everyone paid in, monthly I think, and people submitted their doctor bills to the group for payment.  I have no idea if that system worked for long, but it’s one that I’d love to see work for more people.  I could sign up to a group that agrees to pay for things I am morally and emotionally OK with, and  (hopefully) not make anyone rich while trying to get the health care I need.  Doesn’t it sound Utopian?

  • David Bates

    This isn’t really much of a compromise I’m afraid. If anything, I’d say it’s even worse…

    Insurance companies don’t get money out of thin air, they get it from their clients. This means that ultimately the Church still foots the bill. 

    But it’s also discriminating against another group: the insurance companies. Would it be possible to be a pro-life insurance company? I can’t see how…

    As the USCCB pointed out: 

    “Jesus and his apostles would not have been ‘religious enough’ for the exemption, since they healed and served people of different faiths. The exemption provides no protection at all to sponsors and providers of health plans for the general public, to pro-life people who own businesses, or to individuals with a moral or religious objection to these procedures.”

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. The only thing that changed was the wording . Oh, and the fact that ALL Catholic employers will have to pay for contraception. No exemptions. So it is really worse.
    Many Catholic employers are self insured. They buy the benefit packages for their employees. So they will still be buying coverage for contraception.
    The insurance company will pay for it? No. They will just raise the cost of the benefit package.
    So this still violates the conscience of the Catholic employer. They are still providing coverage and they have no choice.

  • http://www.downtoearthwomen.blogspot.com/ Tracey

    Um…he really didn’t compromise at all. 

    Of course it’s the INSURERS and not the churches being mandated to pay or provide **free**contraception for employees of Catholic employers.
    But, who pays the insurance premiums? 

    EMPLOYERS!!!

    Who chooses the insurance group for their employees?

    EMPLOYERS!!!

    For Obama to “compromise” and tell Catholic employers, “Oh, YOU won’t have to pay for it, just the insurers you buy insurance from,” is more than just a little disingenuous. It’s like a little kid pushing his peas around on the plate to make it look like he’s been eating them. 

    All the while, people seem to be ignoring the fact that insurance is a perk; a benefit that employers use to attract good employees and entice them into staying. Insurance, paid vacation, cafeteria plans,  sick leave, etc are NOT entitlements, they are incentives. They are not rights, they are privileges. An employer IS NOT REQUIRED to provide these things, at all. If they do, then it stands to reason that they would be well within their scope to provide and pay for what they are willing to give and that which does not violate their tenets of faith and beliefs.  

    No one is telling women they can’t use contraceptives. No one. What we are being told is that if we want them, we can pay for them ourselves if we are employed by Catholic employers. And obviously, if we have a job, we can afford contraceptives if they are a priority for us. 

    Further, this has nothing to do with the church, or with women or any of that. It’s about pushing an employer to the point of not providing insurance at all, and a major employer at that, which is what is going to happen if this Administration thinks they can bully their way with this issue. Catholic employers will drop coverage of their employees all together, rather than go against deeply held religious beliefs that have been held for a very long time.  That will clear the way for these employees to be brought into a national insurance  plan that the left has been pushing for the whole time and it will be a plan that is abysmally inferior to what Catholic employers are now providing.

    Think that won’t make these employees complain even more? Just wait. 

    Lastly, this is an insidious and divisive policy that in the end has very little to do with anything that was drastically amiss and everything to do with liberal elites throwing their weight around. 
    It is a direct assault on the religious liberty of major religious institutions and it is an incredibly perilous precedent that is being set.   

  • Tiffany Nicholas

    Maybe I am really missing something, but what this looks like to me is that all insurance companies everywhere and with all plan will have to automatically provide this coverage.  that means all employers will have no option to have insurance that doesn’t cover bc, etc.  what am I missing that this is really a compromise, and one that protects the religious freedoms of catholics at that?

  • Azure

    How can something be “literally unconscionable”?

    The cost of birth control provided by insurance companies is not passed on to customer because it actually saves insurance companies money.  The more of their patients they have on birth control, the less likely they will have to pay for a pregnant lady, a birth, and then a child.  Insurance companies must report any premium increases.  States (like California) already require birth control coverage.  It did not cause the premiums to increase.  As I said, it saves insurance companies money.

  • http://twitter.com/MInTheGap MInTheGap

    If the government can force someone to provide something for free, what is to stop it from providing something else for free?  In this way, the “compromise” is worse than the original order because it further takes away our liberty and further codifies the culture of death.

  • http://twitter.com/mcqueenofhearts Jenny McQueen

    Elizabeth , I don’t know where you personally stand on birth control, but I’m happy with his decision. I’m also glad that he is forcing insurance companies to start paying for birth control.I might get shot at for this one, but to me, more bc = less unwanted pregnancies  = less abortion. that gets my vote any day. and a woman should be allowed the option, whether she is catholic, mormon or atheist, rich or poor. 

    • Nella Smolinski

      According to the Guttmacher Institute, 54% of women seek them due to “contraceptive failure”.  That’s not failure to USE contraception, but failure of the method being used.  Birth control does not reduce abortions, it sets up the conditions that lead to more than 1/2 the abortions that occur in this country.

      • http://twitter.com/mcqueenofhearts Jenny McQueen

        Do you really believe that the same women who feel justified in getting an abortion because of failed contraceptives would not have sex if they didn’t have bc available?  I wish that were true. 

        • http://twitter.com/mcqueenofhearts Jenny McQueen

          BTW, the very same institute also found this: “Researchers from the Guttmacher Institute found the unintended pregnancy rate among women with incomes below the federal poverty line jumped by 50 percent between 1994 and 2006, the latest date available, from 88 per 1,000 to 132.Meanwhile, the unplanned pregnancy rate among women with incomes at least 200 percent above the poverty line fell 29 percent from 34 per 1,000 to 24, the researchers found, using data from the federal National Survey of Family Growth.
          The authors did not hypothesize why the disparity between poor and better-off women has grown but one of its authors, Lawrence Finer, the director of domestic research at the Guttmacher Institute, said the gap was consistent with broader income-based disparities in health care outcomes nationally.”

          • Nella Smolinski

            I’m unclear what you feel this illustrates.  Anyone who works with this population knows that access to contraception isn’t really a problem. I”m assuming you’re saying that poorer women get pregnant more and that must because they don’t have access to contraception.  There are so many confounding cultural factors that conclusion is just not as cut and dried as it seems.  

        • Nella Smolinski

          I’m curious who you think those women are.     They are women who believed the promise of contraception.  They did the “responsible” thing and “protected” themselves and were betrayed because the promise of safe sex is a lie.  Once they have reached the point that according to society they have done everything right and then get pregnant anyway, many seek abortion in desperation.  In our society sex is not the sin, pregnancy is.  Many women don’t understand how common contraceptive failure is.  If they were properly educated I really do believe many women would change their behavior.  It’s anecdotal but I personally know 2 women, both non-believers, who became pregnant on birth control.  One was on the pill, one had an IUD.  Neither aborted, praise God, but both feel deeply betrayed by the promise of “safe sex” and have said if they had been better educated they would have behaved differently.  They are not uneducated underprivileged women.  They are white, college educated, middle class, gainfully employed women who trusted our culture and their doctors.  Women who seek abortion after contraceptive failure are not some segment of a population who are irresponsible and hard-hearted.  They are women who played by the rules and meant well and learned the hard way that there is no such thing as safe sex.

    • David Bates

      This issue isn’t about the morality of contraception et al, it’s about whether or not the government should be able to force religious institutions to violate their own consciences.

  • http://followedbyglory.blogspot.com/ In Need of Grace

    Yeah, I agree with everyone here. This is no “compromise.” I voted for Obama.  I will never make that mistake again.  He is anti-Catholic.

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    Well, other than the fact that the institutions in question have been required to include contraceptive coverage since the EEOC decision on the matter in 2000 if they offer any sort of coverage at all.

    And the fact that since then more than half the states (including yours, I might add) have passed laws enforcing the requirement. In fact, the law in your state was, I believe, one of the models for the original form of the exemption.

    Or the fact that many of the Catholic institutions across the country already provide contraceptive coverage benefits to their employees.

    The only truly new thing about the HHS regulation was that it moved FDA-approved contraceptives into the category of preventive care, which the ACA requires be covered with no deductible, coinsurance, or copay.

    The deeper I dug, the less … honest … I found the various statements by Catholic bishops on this issue.

    Oh, and links to all the above and the actual original regulation from last August are on my blog if anyone isn’t interested. Some of them took a little effort to dig out.

    With that said, the “compromise” simply requires insurers to cover contraceptives whether the employer wants it or not. But they are already prevented from charging differing rates for policies with or without contraceptive coverage, so it’s no skin off their nose. It doesn’t impact their bottom in any meaningful way.

    I guess I’ll go read what I’m sure is a lively debate in the comments section now. Sigh.

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    Oh, it’s also not correct that our constitution prevents our government from forcing private, faith-based groups to act against their religious beliefs. (Although I’ll note this regulation didn’t require any “act”. It didn’t, for instance, require a Catholic hospital to provide contraception or contraceptive services.  It simply required that institutions which didn’t meet the definition already established in law for a church or a “qualified church-controlled organization” not exclude contraceptive coverage that’s already required. Insurers are prohibited from giving a discount for excluding the coverage, so the institution is paying any different to offer the coverage. And nobody forces any individual to use any specific part of their coverage.)

    In fact, we do so fairly regularly. One of the highly memorable historical examples, of course, was the dustup with Mormons over polygamy, but it’s not unusual. What the first amendment does require is a strict scrutiny standard where the government must demonstrate a compelling interest and fashion the law or regulation in the least restrictive manner that will meet their compelling interest.

    I would be perfectly happy to see the government define the Pearl’s parenting “techniques” as frank abuse and intervene in any family/church where it is discovered they are in use or promoted, not matter how much a part of their religious beliefs such approaches might be.

    I’m glad our government prohibits the sort of child marriages common in some religions.

    And those are just some extreme examples. The scope of the compelling interest standard waxes and wanes over the years, but the current standard is that as long as a law does not target a specific religious practice, it can pass the test. The case that narrowed the previous scope was one in which it was determined that a state law that uniformly banned peyote did not have to provide an exception for Native American religious ceremonies.

    And all those state laws I mentioned in my previous comment? Everyone that has been challenged has stood. While compromise, even one that’s largely for show, is better than an extended court battle, it’s not at all clear that the regulation would have been overturned by the courts.

    • Anonymous

       I haven’t researched every state that has a law or laws requiring contraception coverage.  But I have an understanding that religious organizations in some or all of those states are allowed to self-insure and then don’t have to provide services that violate their consciences.

      My hope is that this will go to court, if necessary; that is, if the federal government continues to challenge deeply held religious beliefs.  It bothers me immensely to see this sort of coercion that causes folks to violate their consciences.

      • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

        I did look at the laws in many of the states (and a comparison of all the laws). The exemption as worded in the regulation is a very common form. Some states offer no exemption. Others a more liberal exemption. The EEOC decision provides no allowance for any exemption. Moreover, self-insuring is still a form of providing an insurance policy and falls under all the same regulations. As I stated the new thing in the HHS regulation was placing FDA-approved contraceptives for women in the category of preventive care under the ACA to prohibit deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.

        However, nothing in the regulation forces them to provide health insurance to their employees at all. If it’s such a matter of conscience (despite the fact that many Catholic institutions across the country already offer such coverage), then don’t offer any health insurance at all once the deadline hits (effectively calendar year 2014 the way insurance cycles work). Their employees will then have to acquire coverage from the exchanges and, for every employee who qualifies for subsidies, the institution will be levied a $3,000 (I think — been a while since I read that part of the ACA) penalty/tax. Financially, it probably works out to less than they are currently paying.

        Seems like a fairly heartless approach to me. And it may damage their ability to attract the best employees. But if it’s such a matter of conscience, I guess that’s the price you pay.

        It’s interesting that the only religious grouping of people in the US who, as a group, support the position of the US Bishops rather than the administration on this regulation are specifically white evangelicals. Every other group — Catholics, unaffiliated, mainline, non-white evangelical — support the regulation. Of course, our approach to government is designed to prevent the tyranny of the majority — at least to some extent. That’s not why I find that statistic interesting.

        Do Catholics *really* believe white evangelicals in this country have suddenly become pro-Catholic? Really? Or is there another dynamic in play?

        It seems likely that it’s headed to court. But recognize the conclusion is hardly a given. Similar state laws have all been upheld where tested. It’s always hard to predict how the various courts will rule on any given issue, but in this case it’s particularly difficult because there has been such a variation in opinion over the course of our history. 

        • Anonymous

           One thing you seem to be saying, Scott, is that in certain states Catholic institutions are being forced, by law, to act in violation of their moral teaching.  Let’s say a Catholic hospital wants to give its employees health insurance, but the law states that insurance must include services that violate Church teaching.  So what other option is there?  I think you mentioned not offering health insurance at all.  But, that could be equally a violation of conscience when it comes to giving just compensation to employees.  So, I’m only speculating here, but the hypothetical Catholic hospital might offer the mandated insurance as the lesser of two evils, although it would prefer to do no evil.  If they offer mandated insurance under protest, they can hope that their Catholic employees follow Church teaching and refrain from using contraception.  (I know Catholics who do not use artificial contraception and never have, because they believe to do so is morally wrong.)

          There is the option to fight in court for the right to practice their faith and its teachings, which I guess some have tried to do.  In so doing they didn’t get the desired outcome; that is, freedom to act according to Church teaching and not violate their conscience.  At least they tried, and probably at some cost.

          It’s nice that some other religious groups support the bishops.  Everyone likes some support when they are in a difficult situation. But even if they didn’t have the support of others, the bishops still have to be true to Church teaching.   It’s their role and therefore their duty.  Most take that seriously.

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    I guess many people will not go look for the EEOC decision from 2000. The arguments in it are also interesting to read if anyone is interested, but for brevity I’ll just include the judgment here.

    “There is reasonable cause to believe that Respondents have
    engaged in an unlawful employment practice in violation of Title
    VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy
    Discrimination Act, by failing to offer insurance coverage for the
    cost of prescription contraceptive drugs and devices. Charging
    Parties are entitled to reimbursement of the costs of their
    prescription contraceptives for the applicable back pay period. In
    addition, the District Office is instructed to determine whether
    any cognizable damages have resulted from Respondents’ actions.

    In order to avoid violating Title VII in the future:

    Respondents must cover the expenses of prescription
    contraceptives to the same extent, and on the same terms, that they
    cover the expenses of the types of drugs, devices, and preventive
    care identified above. Respondents must also offer the same
    coverage for contraception-related outpatient services as are
    offered for other outpatient services. Where a woman visits her
    doctor to obtain a prescription for contraceptives, she must be
    afforded the same coverage that would apply if she, or any other
    employee, had consulted a doctor for other preventive or health
    maintenance services. Where, on the other hand, Respondents limit
    coverage of comparable drugs or services (e.g., by
    imposing maximum payable benefits), those limits may be applied to
    contraception as well.
    Respondents’ coverage must extend to the full range of
    prescription contraceptive choices. Because the health needs of
    women may change — and because different women may need different
    prescription contraceptives at different times in their lives –
    Respondents must cover each of the available options for
    prescription contraception. Moreover, Respondents must include such
    coverage in each of the health plan choices that it offers to its
    employees. See 29 C.F.R. part 1604, App. Q&A 24;
    Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris, 463 U.S. 1073, 1081-82
    n.10 (1983).

    The charges are remanded to the field for further processing in
    accordance with this decision.”

    There is no religious exemption at all in the EEOC decision, perhaps because it wasn’t raised as an argument. Or perhaps because they thought the existing definition that allows what would otherwise be considered discrimination (allowing a church, for instance, to only hire those who adhere to its beliefs) was sufficient. I’ll note it’s that definition from the U.S.C. that’s used in the regulation.

    Following the ruling more than half the states passed laws on the matter, probably so they could better regulate it. (At least, I haven’t found any such laws dated before the EEOC decision, but I didn’t read every single one, just a good sampling of each sort.) Some provided no exemption, like the EEOC decision itself. Many incorporated the existing federal definition of a church or “church-related organization”   into their law, which may have been what the EEOC assumed would apply. (Assumptions are often wrong, so take that with a grain of salt.) Some states passed laws with a more broadly stated religious exemption. However, since the EEOC decision was based on the federal civil rights act, it’s not clear at all that a more liberal exemption would be sustained in a challenge. (I haven’t found any evidence of such a challenge, so that’s an unanswered question.)

    Now, speaking the truth in a Christian sense involves a lot more than simply avoiding outright falsehoods or keeping particular sorts of oaths. Even the accuser in our tradition most often says things that are not outright false, but twists them in such a way he is given the appellation “Father of Lies.” The questions that have grown in mind as I’ve researched this issue are simple ones.

    Why do the statements issued by the Catholic Bishops fail to accurately describe and address the full context of the regulation and their dissent? Why do they fail to place this in the context of something that started with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in the 90′s? Why don’t they address the fact that the portion of the regulation requiring contraceptive coverage and the religious exemption used were already the law of the land and had been since 2000? That the new part was the requirement for no deductibles, coinsurance, or copays? Why didn’t they address the fact that many Catholic institutions of the sort that aren’t covered by the exemption already offer their employees or students health insurance that includes contraceptive coverage as already required by law?

    In a lot of situations in life, selective truth is normative. But not in Christianity. Few of us, of course, ever come close to the Christian measure of truth, who is Christ — the antithesis of deceit and the one who makes all things known. Few of us can truly even bear the truth about ourselves. Part of the point of Christian faith is moving to the point where we can see ourselves as we truly are and be able to bear it.

    I’m not saying that any of the above would alter the position of the Bishops on this particular regulation. But by not outlining the current reality accurately and addressing that reality in their statements, they are practicing deceit rather than truth. At least so it seems to me.

  • Lindsey

    And where do the insurance companies get their money (to cover the government-mandated “free birth control/sterilizations for all women)?  They are in the business of making a profit, and the companies who purchase their policies pay them, and those employees who pay into the policies to obtain coverage pay them…

    Really, it’s all the same.  We’ll still be paying for it.  By no choice of our own, or on the part of even our employers.  The government should not be mandating this.  For Catholics and non-Catholics the nation over.

  • http://www.ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com/ Melissa@Permission to Live

    Thank you again. The requirements are perfectly reasonable, and he lets official church companies be exempt. If he leaves the window open for any company who claims to have a catholic owner, anyone could claim the exemption. If we didn’t want private companies to have guidelines for what care they must cover, we should have voted in universal government health care for everyone.

    • David Bates

      Have you seen the requirements of these “exemptions”? Jesus and the Apostles wouldn’t even qualify!