After mandating contraception in Catholic hospitals–next is mandating abortion

People may think that this is a stretch.  However, the proponents of the culture of death (known as “pro-choice”), consider abortion, contraception, sterilization, plan B, as “services” on the spectrum of “preventative care” or “reproductive health care.”  It is a natural progression for them to think that just as contraception and sterilization are rights, that direct abortion, and abortion-inducing drugs are also rights.  We all know that our government is forcing (virtually) all employers to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to all employees as a part of preventative health services on insurance plans.  The government doesn’t think that our freedom of religion, as institutions (such as Catholic hospitals), businesses, or individuals should get in the way of these essential rights.

Could our government mandate abortion coverage on insurance plans?  Could our government mandate that Catholic hospitals conduct abortions?  A recent panel discussion of candidates for Senate in Connecticut reveals that many people running for office think so.

Here are some of the answers of the candidates, when asked, “should the government force Catholic hospitals to provide these services, specifically abortions?” (“these services” refers to the entire spectrum of contraception, sterilization, and abortion).

  • Susan Bysiewicz: “The federal government has the right to regulate what services are provided, because Catholic institutions, colleges and universities get funding from the federal government, and I believe that those institutions should provide access to reproductive health care.”
  • Chris Murphy: “They certainly have the ability to decide what services they perform.”
  • Matthew Oakes: “If they’re gonna take our money—I’m Roman Catholic—then they need to perform the health care issues that women need performed for them.”
  • William Tong: “Access to an abortion should be open and available. Acess to contraception, the same thing. These are basic liberties enshrined in our Constitution, in our jurisprudence. That’s a fact. […] I think we need a cooperative approach. We had a bill in the state Legislature to provide emergency contraception. It was called Plan B. […] Now Plan B is a reality. Emergency contraception is made available to patients at Catholic hospitals. We just need to find a way to make it work.”
  • Lee Whitnum did not answer the question about whether the federal government must force Catholic institutions to provide abortion or contraceptive services. She said she supported institutions providing them.

The Catholic (eastern and Latin) bishops of Connecticut spoke out strongly against this effort.

If we lose this fight over the HHS mandate, and the mandate stands, the next government mandate will be coverage of, and provision of, abortions.

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One Response to After mandating contraception in Catholic hospitals–next is mandating abortion

  1. dougindeap says:

    The arguments on the health care law–whether pertaining to contraception or extended to abortion–have gone from wrong to ridiculous.

    First, the Constitution. Confronted by questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith, the courts have generally ruled that under the Constitution the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, torts, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. (E.g., http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/494/872/case.html)

    When the legislature anticipates that application of such laws may put some individuals in moral binds, the legislature may, as a matter of grace (not constitutional compulsion), provide exemptions for conscientious objectors.

    The real question here then is not so much whether the First Amendment precludes the government from enacting and enforcing the generally applicable laws regarding availability of health insurance (it does not), but rather whether there is any need to exempt some employers in order to avoid forcing them to act contrary to their consciences.

    Second, no need for an exemption. While some may well oppose the law’s policy of promoting the availability of medical services they find objectionable, the law does not put employers in the moral bind some suppose. Many initially worked themselves into a lather with the false idea that the law forced employers to provide their employees with health care plans offering services the employers considered immoral. The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government. Unless one supposes that the employers’ religion forbids payments of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), then the law’s requirement to pay assessments does not compel those employers to act contrary to their beliefs. Problem solved.

    Some nonetheless continued complaining that by paying assessments to the government they would indirectly be paying for the very things they opposed, seemingly missing that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to many taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of “their” tax dollars. Should each of us be exempted from paying our taxes so we aren’t thereby “forced” to pay for making war, providing health care, teaching evolution, or whatever else each of us may consider wrong or even immoral? If each of us could opt out of this or that law or tax with the excuse that our religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate.

    In any event, those complaining made enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that religious employers would be free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking (yay!) and not be required to pay the assessments otherwise required (yay!). Problem solved–again, even more.

    Nonetheless, some continue to complain, fretting that somehow the services they dislike will get paid for and somehow they will be complicit in that. They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages. They evidently believe that when they spend a dollar and it thus becomes the property of others, they nonetheless should have some say in how others later spend that dollar. One can only wonder how it would work if all of us could tag “our” dollars this way and control their subsequent use.

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