Contraception issue proves divisive

The federal government's mandate in the Affordable Care Act requiring all employers to provide health insurance that covers contraception obviously doesn't require Catholics to use any form of contraception. It requires all employers--Catholic or not--to buy insurance plans that cover contraception for their employers.

It is because the government is only requiring employers to provide the medication for others that keeps this legislation from violating the First Amendment. It's against Catholic doctrine to use contraception, not to provide it for others. Catholic institutions that have objected are ignoring the clear distinction between providing the service for others and personal use of that service. There is no issue with the legislation, as Catholics are able to adhere to their faith by not using contraception themselves.

We believe the Catholic institutions have a responsibility to provide the care their employees need. Medicines like birth control are used for more than simple contraception. They're prescribed to women suffering from intense menstrual pain or lengthy menstrations that make day-to-day life unecessarily hard.

That Catholics would deny their employees free access to these necessary medications shows how behind the faith actually is. The Mormon faith left polygamy behind when it became clear society wouldn't tolerate the practice. Contraception has become an accepted and useful medicine in our modern society. It's time for the Catholic Church to abandon its judgmental and outdated position against contraception and adopt a stance more accepting of modern medicine.

We also believe the Catholic institutions objecting to this law are places of business, not places of faith, even though they associate with the religion. The organizations are using their religion as a shield against modernization that would be for the benefit of their employees because they perceive progress as an attack on their faith. We believe they should be subjected to the same requirements as businesses outside of their faith.

Above all, we believe the employees of these institutions have a right to adequate health care, of which contraception is an important part. Catholic institutions are arguing that their rights are being violated by the mandate without considering the rights of their employees. Both most be attended to.

We're happy to see all employers are being required to finally provide adequate health care to their employees.

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