Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review interviews Hadley Heath of the Independent Women’s Forum on the HHS mandate. As you read this, realize that Ms. Heath does not think that contraceptives are morally wrong. She understands that forcing people who do think that contraceptives are morally wrong to buy them for others, is a dangerous infringement on religious freedom.
Heath discussed Pius X High School in Lincoln, Neb., now suing the Federal government over the HHS mandate. The administrators of the school are, she notes,
…arguing that Pius X would be forced to choose between compliance and shutting its doors entirely. The Obama administration shouldn’t be in the business of reducing choices for the 5-plus million students who are currently attending religious K–12 schools.
Many schools are in the same situation. The government is leaving them the choice of compliance with the HHS mandate, or paying crippling fines that would force them to shut down.
As Lopez notes,
Focusing on children is one of the ways IWF is hoping to reframe the debate over the dangerous implications of the president’s health-care law. As the HHS mandate went into effect on August 1, IWF released an “infographic” illustrating exactly what’s wrong with this particular “preventive services” regulation, making the case that it “comes with severe consequences to our liberty, our health care, and our pocketbooks.”
As Heath said,
Do we violate the tenets of our faith and offer health insurance that covers sterilization and contraception, or do we pay a huge fine and shift resources away from our students, teachers, and educational programming? We shouldn’t be asking these schools to make this choice.
Heath further noted,
We shouldn’t celebrate government running over the rights of a group of people. We shouldn’t celebrate that, to live in accordance with their faith, many schools, hospitals, and charities will have to reduce their services to the needy in our society in order to pay huge fines. It may seem like a benefit to get birth control at ‘no cost,’ but in fact the cost is very great. Can you imagine being rushed to your local hospital in the midst of an emergency, only to find out they can’t treat you because that wing of the hospital was shut down to finance the HHS mandate penalties?
As Lopez notes, in a recent forum celebrating the HHS mandate, Democratic consultant Karen Finney accused the critics of the HHS mandate of misogyny, noting that President Obama,
gets it that all these issues for women as human beings are all-encompassing. I need you to think about me as a human being: as a person who works, as a person who has a family, as a person who has health-care needs, not just these in these compartments, because that’s what we do as women. . . . I’m dealing with that, in this economy, and you’re telling me you’re going to take away my birth control? What? That’s what we want to be dealing with.
An intelligent reader will now ask: who is trying to take away anybody’s birth control? Religious people and organizations simply don’t want to pay for your birth control.
As Lopez wonders,
…the realities of our current economy make it all the more perplexing that the White House would insist that the primary issue of the hour is access to contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs — that this is a matter so urgent as to require putting into jeopardy entities run by religious institutions or individuals.
Further, Heath states:
I’m not Catholic, and I have no moral issue with birth control. But there are plenty of women, like me, who see this as government going too far here and injecting itself into a debate that’s better had among individuals and groups in society. Look at the division this has caused.
If the government asks Catholics to violate their conscience today, who could it be tomorrow?