Late last month, Honorable Carole Jackson in the Eastern District of Missouri issued a forceful rebuke of the arguments being made by the various religious organizations that are filing lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services alleging that the birth control benefit infringes upon their religious liberty.
We have been hearing plenty about “religious liberty” lately. Now let’s see who’s using the term “religious liberty” in a novel way, trying to conceal a campaign of religious overreach.
Thirty lawsuits have been filed by corporations challenging the HHS regulation requiring that most health plans cover contraceptives. A survey of these cases yields some useful information as to what the “religious freedom” debate is all about.
The President seems unaware of the fact that Catholics who matter have disagreed with the Vatican’s current prohibition on contraception. Catholics, including institutions within the Catholic community, are free to follow their conscience on contraception. It is not up to the Obama administration to decide what action is more “Catholic” on the matter of contraception.
Today, more than 20 organizations representing millions of Latinos sent a letter to President Obama urging him to support and maintain the recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision requiring health plans to cover preventive health care, including cancer screenings, immunizations, and birth control, with no co-pays.
The Bishops are lobbying hard for the Obama Administration to effectively excuse any and all “religious” entities from covering contraceptives without a co-pay. Last week Archbishop Dolan paid a private visit to President Obama and word on the street is that the White House may cave. This would be a grave mistake.
There are those who assert that unintended pregnancy is not a health condition and therefore prevention of unintended pregnancy is not preventive health care. From my personal practice I can say that I cannot disagree more.
Anti-choice arguments have grown meaner in the past couple of years. The feigned concern for women is slipping away and being replaced by a searing hatred for the very notion that women living in poverty have rights.
The Institute of Medicine recommended that insurance plans cover contraceptive care with no co-pays and alarm bells start ringing in anti-choice offices across the land. So get ready for the smear campaign to come.
The Affordable Care Act provides a huge opportunity to make sure US women have access to contraception. Contraception should be on the list of preventive medicines and services that don’t require a co-pay—that makes health and fiscal sense.