Contraception issue proves divisive
by EDITORIAL BOARD
Feb 09, 2012 | 814 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Forcing Catholic institutions to purchase insurance plans that cover contraception and morning-after pills isn’t a cultural issue. It’s not an issue of employers doing right by their employees. It’s not even about their employees at all. This is about the Bill of Rights. This is about the right of Catholics to freely practice their religion.

Contraception—the use and provision of—is contrary to the Catholic faith. Put simply, if a Catholic or Catholic institution were to practice their religion freely and according to doctrine, they would neither use contraception nor provide it for others.

The First Amendment prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The language is clear, and it obviously prohibits the government from forcing Catholics to offer services they consider to be against their faith.

There is a stark difference between political opinions and God-given rights. It is both untrue and disrespectful to our founding documents to claim an opinion as a right. Health care isn’t a right. Birth control isn’t a right. We believe the Obama administration is trampling the Constitution by reaching far beyond the bounds established for the federal government.

That America is being forced to have this conversation at all is discouraging. Beyond being unconstitutional, this mandate ignores the opinions of millions of Catholic voters and the organizations they belong to or work for. It is irresponsible of Obama to disregard the Catholic faith because it doesn’t mesh with his political vision.

It is equally disturbing to see the Department of Health and Human Services further converted into a tool to advance political agendas. The medical field should not be a talking point for the campaign trail, and to see it used as such again is disappointing. This mandate has nothing to do with health and everything to do with politics.

The issue pertains to more than just Catholics. Protestants should object to the morning-after pill provided by these insurance plans.

More than 80 percent of Americans belong to a faith. Today the issue is with Catholics—tomorrow it will be a different group. If this administration is willing to place birth control and morning-after pills above the right to practice religion freely, where can we suppose they’ll draw the line?

We believe Americans must stand up for both their constitutional protections and their faith today. They may not have the option tomorrow.
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