Roundup: Here’s Your Birth Control. Use It and We’ll Fire You!


“Ok, we’ll provide you with this coverage, but don’t use it!”

That appears to be the stance the Catholic Church is taking in Madison, Wisconsin, where a new law requiring that employers offer contraceptives in their health plans has just gone into effect.   And the church is not happy about it at all.  Via Newsradio 620:

Under a new state law, the Madison Catholic Diocese must offer birth control in its health insurance plan.

But a diocesan spokesman warns employees who use it could be fired. Brent King says contraceptives go against Catholic teachings:

“And with the mandate that all of these policies need to have contraception coverage in it, it’s kind of in the face of directly in the face of what we believe,” King said.

Reproductive rights activists are applauding the change, especially due to the fact that the majority of Catholics use birth control for family planning. From KansasCity.com:

Reproductive health advocates, including the Washington-based Catholics for Choice, criticized the stand, calling birth control “basic health care.”

“The reality is the vast majority of Catholics use contraceptive family planning,” said David Nolan of Catholics for Choice. “And making them access it elsewhere or pay full price because they can’t get it through their insurance is a needless barrier.”

Because birth control is so popular, the church has come up with a master plan on how to deal with employees that might make full use of their benefits, a kind of contraceptive don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

[P]eople who work for the diocese must sign a morals clause agreeing to abide by Catholic teachings. King says they would only fire someone who is especially vocal about using birth control:

“No one would ever be terminated for sinning. We’re all sinners. It would take a very public defiance of what the church believes and teaches for someone to ever get terminated.”

But don’t worry, folks.  You won’t get fired right away if you are caught using prohibited drugs.  According to the Wisconsin State Journal:

Such a step [termination] would be taken only if the employee, after being counseled, refused to get in line with Catholic teaching, King said. “It wouldn’t be the first thing we do,” he said.

Mini-Roundup:  When youth want to know more about sex, they ask their friends.  When they want to know more about preventing pregnancy, they ask their doctors.

August 11, 2010

Supporters Of Colo. ‘Personhood’ Initiative Unveil Strategy To Gather Support – Medical News Today

Economic crisis rekindles Irish debate on abortion – Reuters UK

Carney calls Marino’s claims he ignored abortion vote ‘desperation’ – Towanda Daily Review

Ga. GOP Gubernatorial Race Hinges On Abortion, Other Social Issues – Medical News Today

Poll: Young Hispanics Less Likely to Be Catholic – ABC News

UNC Health Plan Makes Students Pay for Abortion Coverage – Watchdog

Anti-abortion bus tour heading for Evansville Thursday – Evansville Courier & Press

Florida Poll Has Pro-Life Rubio, Pro-Abortion Crist Splitting Senate Race Lead – LifeNews.com

English-Speaking Hispanics More Likely Pro-Abortion Than Spanish Speakers – LifeNews.com

Planned Parenthood Boycott List Now Has Pro-Abortion Firms AOL, Hilton, ING – LifeNews.com

Colorado Senate Race Will Now Feature Pro-Life Ken Buck, Pro-Abortion Bennet – LifeNews.com

Hudson Valley Primary Battle Shaping Up As Obama Referendum – WNYC

An Anniversary of Consequence – First Things

What a country – Ventura County Star

Abortion foes fight Caritas Christi sale – ModernHealthcare.com

Abortion provider Planned Parenthood closes Redwood City office – Catholic San Francisco

‘Mad Men’ and the Politics of Abortion – Politics Daily

Gay Marriage: Leave It to the Voters – Wall Street Journal

The 10th Anniversary of the Choose Life Tag is Celebrated in the NJ State House – Christian News Wire

Young people favour friends for sex info – Sydney Morning Herald

Madison Diocese offers birth control insurance, but warns employees not to use it – Wisconsin State Journal

Fanwood Council: Override Christie’s Veto of Family-Planning Funding – Patch

Family planning: AP set to go slow – Times of India

Young people favor GPs for contraception advice, survey reveals – International Business Times AU

Family Planning Advocates Brace for Impact of Christie Veto – Patch

Argentina’s Reproductive Policies Failing Women – Ms. Magazine

Madison Catholic Diocese Offers Contraceptive Coverage – Newsradio 620

Seeking Catholic Church employees affected by new law on contraceptives – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Contraceptive Pill to be given out by pharmacists – Healthcare Republic

It’s Time to Consider the Girl Effect on HIV – Huffington Post

International Youth Day aims to tackle sexual-health taboos – Daily Star – Lebanon

‘New’ human adenovirus may not make for good vaccines, after all – PhysOrg.com

Women May Not Need to Delay Pregnancy After an Initial Miscarriage – Medscape

Addressing Nepal’s high maternity death-rate – Independent

August 12, 2010

CD8: Paton Endosed by Anti-Abortion Leader – Tucson Weekly

Donnelly says he’s still pro-life; group calls him a liar. – WSBT-TV

Young Hispanics in US losing Catholic identity, survey finds – Catholic Culture

Women’s Health Care in Political Jeopardy … Again – Austin Chronicle

Oral sex more common than previously believed – Sify

A contraceptive mentality – Manila Bulletin

Contraception coverage collides with Catholic Church – Kansas City Star

South Africa: Bolstering the Search for HIV Vaccine – Living With Aids # 443 – AllAfrica.com

USAID helps fight cervical cancer – South Africa.info

Breast is best, but not easy – Ottawa Citizen

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on Twitter: @robinmarty

To schedule an interview with Robin Marty please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • crowepps

    “No one would ever be terminated for sinning. We’re all sinners. It would take a very public defiance of what the church believes and teaches for someone to ever get terminated.”

    Institutionalized hypocrisy — you can use birth control and continue to ‘sin’ as long as you keep your mouth shut about it publicly.

  • crowepps
    On the contentious question of nipple shields, the nurses, midwives, lactation consultants and my doctor all had different opinions.

    Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Breast+best+easy/3387808/story.html#ixzz0wQGDuLIz

    My daughter was given a lot of grief about using a nipple shield as well.  With the shield, she had no problem nursing – without the shield, it just wouldn’t work.  Does anybody here have any insight into just why the use of this safe, easy aid to new mothers is ‘contentious’?

  • sweetchild92

    Do you know why the redwood city PP shut down? I’m completely taken aback by it. I’ve had friends go there for birth control, STI testing, I once went there for condoms. It’s in the same city as the community college, I know that helped a lot with access for some people. I’m just really confused and shocked.

  • catseye71352

    It won’t work any better for the Church’s employees than it does for gays in the military.