It’s not just the Catholics, you know

Opposition to the mandated HHS regulations requiring employers to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients is not just a Roman Catholic thing. Unfortunately, I think the writers of this letter miss the bigger point: why is it the responsibility of the American taxpayer to provide contraceptives at no cost to the recipient?

Pregnancy is not a disease, drugs are not necessary to “prevent” it, so why is the government requiring it? This is the problem with government control of health care: they will stipulate everything about it, deliver inefficient service, cost much more money, and mandate people purchase services they are morally opposed to.

But, hey, this is a start:

We write to you specifically as organizations and leaders that are not part of the Catholic community. We write not in opposition to Catholic leaders and organizations; rather, we write in solidarity, but separately—to stress that religious organizations and leaders of other faiths are also deeply troubled by and opposed to the mandate and the narrow exemption.

Most press reports on the controversy concerning the contraceptives mandate portray the opposition as coming only from the Catholic Church and Catholic organizations. But this is wrong. It is emphatically not only Catholics who deeply object to the requirement that health plans they purchase must provide coverage of contraceptives that include some that are abortifacients. It is not only Catholics who object to the narrow exemption that protects only seminaries and a few churches, but not churches with a social outreach and other faith-based organizations that serve the poor and needy broadly providing help that goes beyond worship and prayer.

The faith-based organizations and religious traditions represented by the undersigned leaders do not all share the same convictions about the moral acceptability of the mandated services. But we are all deeply concerned about the narrow exemption, including proposals made to expand it while still leaving unprotected many faith-based organizations. Many of us previously signed a letter, dated August 26, 2011, to Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, asking his help in persuading your administration, if it maintains the contraceptives mandate, to replace the current “inaccurately narrow and practically
inadequate definition of ‘religious employer’.” An organization does not cease to be a religious organization just because it serves the poor and needy in material ways and does not confine its help to prayer and religious teaching.

We reiterate our opposition to the narrow exemption….

Mr. President, religious organizations beyond the Catholic community have deep moral objections to a requirement that their health insurance plans must cover abortifacients. Religious organizations beyond the Catholic community object to the current narrow exemption which puts them outside the definition of “religious employers.” And religious organizations beyond the Catholic community object to any revision of the exemption that would limit it to churches and denominationally affiliated organizations.

We believe that the Federal government is obligated by the First Amendment to accommodate the religious convictions of faith-based organizations of all kinds, Catholic and non-Catholic….

Check it out, and here’s a question: if you are a Catholic layperson and have a business, will you be required under these HHS regulations to offer insurance coverage to your employees that mandates contraception, including abortifacients? Just because one is not in a religious organization doesn’t mean one relinquishes all of one’s First Amendment rights.

Will employers who morally disagree with this mandate only have the choice of not offering health coverage? Is this part of the goal here–to have more and more people turning to the government for insurance because more and more employers, for religious and/or moral reasons, cannot comply with the HHS mandates?

Makes you wonder.


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