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Birth control and Catholic hospitals

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    Reference: Public Religion Research Institute, February 7, 2012: Survey: Majority of Catholics Think Employers Should BE Required to Provide Health Care Plans that Cover Birth Control at No Cost

    I'll share a few results of the survey published today by the Religion Research Institute, but you should go to their website link above to see the entire survey.

    A majority (55%) of Americans agree that “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.”

    Roughly 6-in-10 Catholics (58%) believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception.

    Women are significantly more likely than men to agree that employers should be required to provide health care plans that cover contraception (62% vs. 47% respectively).


    Republicans are making a big deal out of how Obama's stance on this issue is "outraging Catholics." The Catholic church is certainly entitled to do what it wants within the confines of its church. However, they should not be exempted from providing lawfully mandated activities like birth control while engaging in public insurance and health care outside of the church.

    From a February 4th CNN article: Bishops don't speak for most Catholics on contraception:

    "But who is really making this argument besides the bishops and a minority of conservative Catholics and Christians, especially when studies show that 98% of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptives?"

    Who indeed? According to the survey above, White Evangelicals...probably mostly old white men.

    And outraged Republican politicians...
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    Many do not remember, but the "birth control pill" became available to anyone who wanted it, in the year 1960 or 1961. It was a brand new concept. Women everywhere could be somewhat safe from an undesireable pregnancy (due to rape or incest) and actually PLAN their family, when they wanted to have children, how far they wanted to space them apart, etc.

    They felt they were entering a NEW, MODERN WORLD. The sky was the limit, as far as your personal life was concerned. That year, many devout Catholic women went to their doctor to get the birth control pill. DESPITE what their parents thought, or the POPE THOUGHT.

    And there is the crux of the issue. Many husbands thought their wives did not deserve any independent thought on having children. They were supposed to be a random event that happened without any human thought. Men liked being in control, & their wives were supposed to be just submissive little pawns in the chess game of life.

    But the "pill" changed all that. FIFTY YEARS AGO. Strangely, HERE in the 21st century, men are once again trying to reinforce all the ancient taboos, take away any little touch of freedom from women, & chain their wives to the bedpost, once again.

    In trying to take away birth control, abortion, & any female healthcare, the men are trying to re-assert their dominance over the weaker sex. Going back in Time -- it is part of the whole new Republican strategy. They want to return to the Pioneer days, or some simpler time when all things seemed much easier. No tax forms, lengthy contracts, just EZ credit.



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    This has less to do about birth control and more to do about "phony outrage." The Republicans need to be continually raging about something...anything but jobs. As ThinkProgress reports, Many Catholic Universities, Hospitals Already Cover Contraception In Their Health Insurance Plans.

    "It’s also nothing new. Twenty-eight states already require organizations that offer prescription insurance to cover contraception and since 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control, many Catholic institutions offer the benefit to their employees."

    This is really another Republican stunt to politically unite voters around a social issue that they label "Obama's war on religion." ThinkProgress writes "the mandate is modeled on existing rules in six states, exempts houses of worship and other religious nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of faith, and offers employers a transitional period of one year to determine how best to comply with the rule."

    So what's the big deal? Just another example of manufacturing rage where none existed before.

    As Danny Westneat writes in the Seattle Times: "So none of this is even new. Yet somehow around here we've managed to have our religion and our birth control, too. Quietly. Maybe Obama's mistake wasn't telling Catholics to do something they can't do. It was calling attention to the fact that they already are."

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    What has been lost or misunderstood in the Republican and media hype on this issue is, as ThinkProgress reports, that "current law exempts houses of worship and other religious nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of faith."

    In looking at political cartoons and right wing hype on this issue, one gets the impression that Obama is forcing Catholic churches to distribute condoms to their parishioners as a part of Obama's "War on Religion." Republican never miss an opportunity to twist the message and distort the truth.

    To clarify, most Catholic hospital and university workers insurance programs that employ non-Catholics in their work place already cover contraceptives...and their policies are in line with other non-Catholic hospitals. These institutions have been routinely covering the cost of contraceptives for their workers and have been doing so with no big fanfare until now.  It's kind of like "Don't ask don't tell" until some bishop chose to make an issue out of it...and Republicans jumped on it.
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    Reading a Huffington Post column today, Obama Birth Control Compromise In Works, it looks like a compromise position is being proposed whereby "the insurer -- rather than the employer -- would be required to provide the contraceptive coverage free of charge for women employed by the entities in question."

    The plan would involve a "third-party health company helping to provide contraception coverage. It actually makes financial sense for insurance companies to cover birth control, ABC's Jake Tapper notes, because unwanted pregnancies and resulting complications cost more than contraception and sterilization."

    The proposed plan is somewhat similar to the Hawaii plan whereby an employer like the Catholic church can opt out of contraception coverage but then advise its female employees where they can get that coverage with an outside health plan. Those women would then pay the insurer out of their own pocket, but could not be charged more than they would have paid under the company plan. It works in Hawaii.

    But then I read this in the Huffington Post: "Although the compromise does broaden the conscience clause to exempt any organization who opposes birth control based on religious beliefs, the Catholic bishops have already rejected the Hawaii model as a viable alternative because they don't even want women to be referred to places that would provide them with contraception."

    Huh?? So what really are the Catholic bishops objecting to? Is it providing contraception as a part of their health care coverage, or is it objecting to any employee of any church affiliated organization from practicing contraception...period!

    If the bishops have their way, any doctor, nurse, janitor or administrative staff working in a Catholic hospital, whether, catholic, protest, Muslim, or atheist would not be permitted to obtain any kind of insurance to cover birth control because they find the whole practice morally objectionable. Am I understanding it right?
     
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    Veronica: I do not believe that the birth control pill and other forms of contraception should be taken away from women (or men).  I just do not believe the Federal Government should have to pay for it.  Nor do I believe that Health Insurance Companies should be regulated to provide it 100% free of charge.  The responsibility of contraception lies with the couple that has entered into a sexual relationship. 
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    I have not given this too much thought lately, but I always believed that ordinary birth control could (or should) be paid for by the individual couple, just like they would pay for Kleenex, or cough drops. I guess where some of the problems arise, is if the persons involved are not married, or having a casual affair. Who is responsible for contraceptives then? And if an "accident" occurs, who decides what to do, or who will pay the costs?

    Generally speaking, the pill or condoms, or intrauterine devices, are NOT that highly expensive, so the ordinary person, with a moderate income should easily be able to afford it.

    A very good suggestion is to look into the "Rhythm Method" often used by the Catholics, as it is NOT FORBIDDEN by the church, it does NOT COST A DIME, & for many women it works just as effectively as any other birth control method. All you need is a calendar, & the ability to do some very simple Math. You must keep track (on the calendar) of every menstrual period, the date it starts. You can get more details from a medical website, or by using Google to look up the "Rhythm Method" of birth control. This could be the answer for many women who have very regular periods, & who do not have a lot of extra money to pay for RX pills.
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    Try limiting birth control and women start limiting sex and see how far THAT idea lasts!
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    Tomorrow (Thursday) the Senate votes on the Blunt Amendment to the Transportation bill.  The Blunt Amendment, essentially puts your boss in your bedroom.  As ThinkProgress is reporting, "that’s exactly where Republicans want to put your boss —  in your bedroom and in between you and your doctor when it comes to making your own personal health care decisions."

    From ThinkProgress, February 28, The Conservative War on Birth Control Marches On:

    Legislation that would allow ANY employer or insurance company to deny ANY essential or preventative health care benefit for essentially ANY reason.  Benefits that could be denied include:

        contraception
        cancer screenings
        diabetes screenings
        STD screenings
        prenatal care
        mental health coverage

    This bill is so extreme that if your boss believed in healing exclusively through the power of prayer, he would have sufficient legal grounds to deny you coverage for various medical conditions.  If your boss had a moral objection to single mothers, he could deny unmarried pregnant women prenatal coverage.  Or if your boss had a “moral” objection to overweight people, diabetes screenings would not have to be covered.

    Under the conservative plan, all of the above would be perfectly legal.


    Wow what is it about Republicans that they want to control every aspect of women's lives including their intimate bedrooms? Pay attention to how YOUR senator votes tomorrow on the Transportation bill, Blunt Amendment.
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    Veronica, I agree. the responsibility should lie with the couple or the woman. Keep the government out of our bedroom. This whole issue has been blown out of proportion. It shouldn't even be an issue. Its not an issue whether the "Majority" of Catholics think that they should be offered birth control. Its not an issue of what kind of birth control the government should provide. The issue is that the Catholic Church does not believe in birth control. And for Obama to force this on them is a slam against the constitution of separation of church and state. Is what he did constitutional? Both the right and left are using us as pawns on this issue. The left, and in particular, Obama has taken this issue and instead of treating it as a constitutional issue has twisted it to enrage the public, targeting women in order to get their votes. We should all be outraged. We should all be writing the president to tell him to stop using us as his pawns and to find another way to try to win the election. We should be telling the right to "shut Up" about this subject and to instead talk about issues pertaining to the survival of this nation. Concerning this woman who went before congress? She was a pawn and should be made fun of. My question is how much did she get paid to do this? How stupid does the government think we are? Its time we get our heads out of the sand and tell the politicians that we won't fall for their dangerous games. We are like sheep being led to slaughter. EVERYONE! Where is your ability to reason?
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    China is imposing draconian measures to slash birth rates among ethnic Uighurs as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, according to a new investigation.

    Beijing is accused of forced sterilization, abortions, and pregnancy checks on hundreds of thousands of minority women.

    The Nazis did the same thing during WWII (in order to reduce the Jewish population), while simultaneously rewarding Aryan women who had 4 or more children.

    And ..

    When eugenics was popular in America during the 1920's, forced sterilization was used on people who were considered to be mentally inferior.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/china-forcing-birth-control-uighurs-suppress-population-ap-200629093616292.html

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    Schmidt Wrote: Reading a Huffington Post column today, Obama Birth Control Compromise In Works, it looks like a compromise position is being proposed whereby "the insurer -- rather than the employer -- would be required to provide the contraceptive coverage free of charge for women employed by the entities in question."

    The plan would involve a "third-party health company helping to provide contraception coverage. It actually makes financial sense for insurance companies to cover birth control, ABC's Jake Tapper notes, because unwanted pregnancies and resulting complications cost more than contraception and sterilization."

    The proposed plan is somewhat similar to the Hawaii plan whereby an employer like the Catholic church can opt out of contraception coverage but then advise its female employees where they can get that coverage with an outside health plan. Those women would then pay the insurer out of their own pocket, but could not be charged more than they would have paid under the company plan. It works in Hawaii.

    But then I read this in the Huffington Post: "Although the compromise does broaden the conscience clause to exempt any organization who opposes birth control based on religious beliefs, the Catholic bishops have already rejected the Hawaii model as a viable alternative because they don't even want women to be referred to places that would provide them with contraception."

    Huh?? So what really are the Catholic bishops objecting to? Is it providing contraception as a part of their health care coverage, or is it objecting to any employee of any church affiliated organization from practicing contraception...period!

    If the bishops have their way, any doctor, nurse, janitor or administrative staff working in a Catholic hospital, whether, catholic, protest, Muslim, or atheist would not be permitted to obtain any kind of insurance to cover birth control because they find the whole practice morally objectionable. Am I understanding it right?

    Schmidt:

    A Catholic hospital in Phoenix performed an abortion on a woman (who already had 4 children) in order save her life. Nicholas Kristof wrote about it in January of 2011:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/opinion/27kristof.html?adxnnl=1&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1296144912-rCj43ueciJVfT8vFRi4Qlg

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    All of this shows how backwards this country has become. I wrote many times about this "murderous" institution. It is time people here wake up and realize that "facts" don't work in that "church" they rather put you on the "stake" than saving your ass. Through the centuries they murdered even their own people like Joan of Arc etc. As well helped Hitler in every way. Nowadays it is grabbing little kids so the "priests"can have some "fun". It fits the Republican Party, they like "gold" as well. It is time that all those Catholics look at the evening skies and then may be realize that this tiny globe with even tinier churches means nothing in the universe. But yeah on this "island" they invited all the oddball churches of the world, so what do you expect what will happen. They all are "snake oil" salesmen.
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    I am not one to criticize any religion for their beliefs. However, I am alarmed about how the Republican Party has become a theocracy. Some Republicans in the party heavily criticized Neil Gorsuch for his vote on the LGBTQ protections in the workplace. When Trump proudly mentioned Gorsuch's name at the Tulsa rally, the crowd booed.

    Sen Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, said the SCOTUS ruling “marks a turning point for every conservative and it marks a turning point for the legal conservative movement.”

    "Hawley said religious conservative evangelicals, Catholics, and Jews, make up a majority of those who have continued the fight for their First Amendment rights to worship freely."

    “But as to those religious conservatives, how do they fare in yesterday’s decision?” he asked. “What will this decision mean, this rewrite of Title VII? What will it mean for churches? What will it mean for religious schools? What will it mean for religious charities?”