Religious freedom means that the government should not privilege the teachings of one religion over another or deny individual religious freedom. Individuals must have the right to accept or reject the principles of their own faith without legal restrictions.
The Obama Administration is right to require insurance companies to cover contraception for public employees. The bishops are wrong to seek to use the government to limit the decision-making power of American women. And they are surely wrong to call what they are trying to do freedom.
Last night, the voters of North Dakota decisively defeated a ballot initiative that one news outlet called an “ecclesiastical mugging.” By a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent, voters said “no” to an effort to impose religious doctrine on health care, social policy, and law in the state.
Let us call upon Cardinal Dolan, the USCCB, and their political allies to practice what they preach. Eliminating public funds and taxpayer support for organizations criminally convicted of protecting child predators will prove they are standing on principle.
This week, 12 new lawsuits were filed challenging the contraceptive coverage rule, doubling those already in play. The lawsuits have made a splash by virtue of their number, but when you take a moment to actually look at them, there’s nothing to see. The rule is constitutional, it violates no federal law, and it’s incredibly important for women.
Oh hey! Looks like the anti-choice folks found a new way to come up with their own set of “facts”!
On Thursday, Rep. Paul Ryan strayed from the current Republican mantra when he said he “respectfully disagrees” with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that it’s not very Jesus-like to let poor people starve. But the Bishops and the GOP are in lock step when it comes to the War on Women.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a March 16th Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion column, correctly characterizes the contraceptive insurance coverage debate. He says: “This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all.” But fact is that when it comes to religious freedom, he’s against it.
The fight against birth control coverage smacks of theocratic thinking – the notion that government ought to be ruled by or subject to religious authority. Clearly we need a much more inclusive conversation about religion and reproduction.
Women of color experience much higher unintended pregnancy rates than their white counterparts. As a group they also suffer higher rates of chronic diseases, including pregnancy-related conditions, which can be prevented with consistent use of contraceptives. The new regulation guaranteeing access to contraception without a co-pay will help greatly with these and other health issues.