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The Birth Control Mandate Harms Nobody's Religious Freedom

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: healthcare, healthcare, constitution, ethics, freedoms, Womens Rights, media, politics, government )

- 1013 days ago -
The real issues on the table are health care, financial security, and basic justice for women.

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Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Sunday January 12, 2014, 11:08 am
The Little Sisters of the Poor is an organization that is not required to provide birth control to its employees under the Affordable Care Act. Churches and religious groups already are exempt or able to opt out of providing birth control, and they have been all along. The only thing the Little Sisters must do is fill out and sign a one-page form stating that it objects to providing contraception, which it must then send to its insurer.

Meanwhile, the federal courts continue to consider whether completing a simple form is a "burden" on the religious liberty of the Little Sisters and other religiously affiliated organizations.

The much bigger issue which could affect millions of women will be deliberated by the Supreme Court this spring. In a pair of cases the court has already accepted, the owners of two privately held, for-profit corporations Hobby Lobby, a chain of crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a furniture company argue that because of their personal beliefs, they should not have to cover two specific forms of birth control for their employees.

If the Supreme Court rules the wrong way in any of these cases, millions of women could be denied coverage for any or all forms of birth control. This is no small matter. Birth control costs can be expensive, often costing women up to $600 a year. Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 27 million women have access to birth control without a copay. Birth control is used at some point by more than 99 percent of all sexually active women in this country between the ages of 15 and 44. It enables women to control their reproductive health, plan their pregnancies and manage their lives. Some women also need it for medical reasons, including relief of painful menstrual periods and endometriosis. A woman earning an hourly wage at a crafts store should not have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars out-of-pocket simply because her employer has a personal objection to birth control.

The birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act does not breach anyone's religious freedom. What is being trampled upon instead is the legislated right of women to have access to preventive medical care. The real issues on the table are health care, financial security, and basic justice for women.


Mary T. (357)
Sunday January 12, 2014, 12:53 pm
thanks for the article Beverly

Athena F. (131)
Sunday January 12, 2014, 3:17 pm
Thank you! :)

Roger Skinner (14)
Sunday January 12, 2014, 3:34 pm
No one is being forced to use birth control if you don't believe in using it. The real question is about what kind of control your employer has over your personal healthcare decisions. Does your employer's religious beliefs get to trump yours? Why? If your employer is a Jehovah's Witness, does that mean they can prohibit your health insurance from covering blood transfusions? If your employer believes that some diseases are caused by sinful acts (say HIV/AIDS), does that mean they can prohibit your health insurance from paying for your treatment?

Jamie Clemons (282)
Monday January 13, 2014, 1:39 pm
If you don't believe in birth control you don't have to take it. They are just offering choice not forcing people to take birth control. But with some people maybe that wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Birgit W. (159)
Monday January 13, 2014, 1:40 pm
Who is going to pay later on for all the single mom's and their children? Isn't it much more sufficient to pay for birth control in the first place?
We do not need any more people to suffer on our planet.
Corporations should have NO SAY when it comes to peoples health insurances.

James Maynard (84)
Monday January 13, 2014, 2:06 pm
This is ludicrous. No one is forcing
religions to do anything but follow
the law.

Colleen L. (3)
Monday January 13, 2014, 5:50 pm
I agree that nobody is forced to take it. If they don't want to...then don't. Thanks Beverly

Sheila D. (28)
Monday January 13, 2014, 6:03 pm
If these religious companies are so concerned, they shouldn't hire women who are still of child bearing age. Oh, but that's discrimination. As is not providing women with medical care and the right to make a decision based on their physical welfare. Those who wish to tell their employees what to do regarding their bodies shouldn't be in business. I call it sex discrimination and creating a hostile work environment; which I thought was illegal.

Charlene Rush (79)
Monday January 13, 2014, 10:27 pm
You are absolutely, correct, Beverly.
No one's religious freedom is being harmed.
This is a ploy to misdirect the issue, entirely

I won't delve into the teachings of the Catholic Church. I spent 8 years in Catholic grade school and could tell many unflattering, unChristian stories about nuns, that many other people could, also.
I might add, that they appear much more content in today's world.

This business about contraception is another 'control' issue over women, as it always has been.
It's a shame that religious women who become nuns, are not capable of seeing how they are being used, to please the male hierarchy.,

Anna Dayton (1)
Monday January 13, 2014, 10:56 pm
While i think this is screwed up do people not realize that free birth control is available in this country? Planned parenthood gives birth control free for an optional donation to anyone who needs to keep their identity concealed or has no insurance or insurance that doesn't cover contraception.

Roseann d. (178)
Monday January 13, 2014, 11:01 pm
Does that also mean employers also don't have to cover smokers or people that make a habit of eating 3 lbs steaks?

. (0)
Monday January 13, 2014, 11:51 pm

They have been trying to close Planned Parenthood for quite some time now.

It is not your boss's business as to whether or not you use Birth Control. This decision is supposed to be left up to the individual. If your employer is allowed to dictate your body, then they are intruding into areas that they do not belong.

Roger said,
"If your employer is a Jehovah's Witness, does that mean they can prohibit your health insurance from covering blood transfusions?"

This all seems to be an attempt at making everyone Christianized against their Will. Religions are not supposed to be intrusive, they are supposed to be there for you when you need help, and guidance.

No one is supposed to be at their mercy!!!!

Ponder/Meditate/Pray for Peace.

Mary Oliveau { hugs }

Bridget Robertson (106)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 1:07 am
Thank you for this very important article. I see someone suggested Planned Parenthood. Nice suggestion but, state legislatures are working to close them down.

Alan Lambert (91)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 1:42 am
Of course it harms nobody...

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 1:55 am
People have the right to choose for themselves and not be vilified by right wing religions bigots.

Roger Skinner (14)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 9:14 am
Goddess Mary Oliveau says, "Religions are not supposed to be intrusive..."
It would be nice if that was true, but it isn't. All religions believe they need to spread the "Word" and convert the entire world to their belief. All religions believe they have the sole "Truth" and everyone else is wrong. All religions believe they know how people should act and how governments should be run. All religions believe their rules should be law. That is what is going on here. Religions that believe they should be exempt from laws that protect ALL the people and . Religions that believe they should be able to dictate to non-believers what they can and cannot do.

Mitchell D. (136)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 10:31 am
Goddess Mary Oliveau, Roger S., and all above are on point, here.
Roger. and Goddess, point to the overriding issue with "intrusive" religious perspective; to the problem with living with a fairy tale as one's life focus.

GGmaSheila D. (203)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 11:57 am
Filling out a simple form is a "burden"...Right.
We all know what's going to happen come Spring when this particular SCOTUS decides on this issue.
So much for population control, which the Catholic Church never wanted anyway.

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 12:14 pm

We have stretched the intentions of the constitution too far. If you have moral or religious qualms, you are absolutely free to follow those in the privacy and sanctity of your own life. Just as is anyone that works for you, is able to follow their own conscience about their own morality. There is just too much talk about women, their bodies, how the law should be regulating women's bodies, now that is BIG government with a capital B.

. (0)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 2:44 pm

Thank you Roger, and Mitch. *thanks*

When they change "the Word" from intolerance, to something more acceptable like, love, compassion, empathy, or Peace.... then, and only then, will I spread it.

The only time your boss should be worried about whether or not you are using Birth control is if you are sleeping with him/her. Neither your boss, your Government, nor the Church belong in your bedroom, unless of course you are mutually agreeing to it. *blush*

Ponder/Meditate/Pray for Peace.

Mary Oliveau { hugs }


Barry AWAY T. (938)
Wednesday January 15, 2014, 9:06 am
If we talk about wolves - or any other members of the wild world - the defenders of the most destructive culture in this planets history suggest that humans have "dominion" over all other living things.

After all, it IS in the Bible!

If we talk about women, the people of colour (color for the Americans), the working poor, the poor who can't get work, the third world, the second world, or those left out in the cold in the 1st world (where the hell did these numbers come from? How did we get to be 1st yet again? No wonder so many of the original peoples refused to count!), it becomes clear that all that matters is the 1% (it's actually less than 1%).

If you talk about the unborn, THEN you can get "them" all excited because here they can claim to be "pro-life" without extending rights, obligations or a share of the wealth to a single living (i.e. actually born) human being.

And finally it becomes clear what "they" really care about.
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