In a move that will surprise a grand total of zero persons, the Catholic Church is protesting a new White House mandate requiring employers to provide contraception and other reproductive services as part of their health-care plans. The mandate, which requires religious employers to provide "preventive" health-care services for their employees — including cervical-cancer screenings and birth-control pills — has royally pissed off the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who released a statement Friday saying that the church would pursue "every legal avenue available to them to bring an end to this mandate. That means legislation, litigation, public advocacy. All options are on the table."

Although evangelical Christians, Orthodox rabbis, and other religious leaders are pissed about the ordinance, the Catholic Church has been by far the most vocal, embarking on a nationwide crusade to get Congress to reverse the ruling since it was announced last month. While the mandate, which takes effect in August, doesn't apply directly to churches, it does apply to employees at Catholic-owned hospitals, universities, and charities, and members of the church argue that the law violates their constitutional rights by "interfering in the workings of the church," according to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Of course, by attempting to deny non-Catholic workers the health-insurance coverage enjoyed by every other employee in the country, that kind of seems like the pot calling the kettle black, but that's no biggie 'cause the church has been doing that for years. It's not like these guys have to personally administer cervical-cancer screenings to every parochial-school teacher in the country, or slip doses of Yaz under the tongues of lady churchgoers. Ultimately, the fact that these yabboes are investing so much time and energy into fighting this mandate isn't a shock as much as it's just one more bullet point on the endless, infuriating list of reasons of how out of touch the Church is with the rest of the world. 

Commentarium (15 Comments)

Feb 05 12 - 6:28pm

When are you going to, you kn0w, understand that I am now the god you need to worship? I have determined that the First Amendment is nice but it's in my way so I will simply ignore it.

Feb 05 12 - 7:30pm


Feb 05 12 - 8:34pm

There's a really simple solution for the Catholic Church (and the other religious organizations that are against this): Don't take any sort of governmental funds, i.e. operate as a truly private institution, and you don't have to provide these services. This isn't a matter of interfering with religion, this is the US government saying that if you want to take advantage of the money available to operate as a 'public' institution, you have to play by 'public' rules.

Feb 05 12 - 9:12pm

Nice try, but ACA requires all organizations, regardless of fed grants, to fund contraceptives, including abortifacents.

Feb 05 12 - 9:31pm
worth nsigood

And they shouldn't. If a religious organization doesn't wish to offer or fund birth control that should be their choice, just as it is for someone who wishes to have those things to not work for them.

Just as I don't want religion forced on me, it's not fair to force things upon them that violate their beliefs.

Feb 05 12 - 9:41pm

This is where it gets into an important semantic distinction - the Catholic Church doesn't have to pay for its priests and nuns to get contraceptive coverage. If it runs a hospital, however, it does. They can't refuse to hire someone at the hospital because that person isn't Catholic, and likewise shouldn't be allowed to refuse coverage to their employees for the same reason.

Feb 06 12 - 9:23am

So, RW, pro-choice means churches having to pay for abortions for Catholic school teachers?

Feb 05 12 - 11:28pm

I'm sorry but we don't agree with birth control there is only one reason to have sex and that is ment to produce offspring not for your pleasure and hey unlike some low lifes out there we actually do care about the image we are producing for our kids

Feb 05 12 - 11:41pm
Abe froman

We may think the church position on contraception is antiquated and I'll informed. However, if you accept a church job, assuming ful disclosure, why should you not accept the churches reluctance or refusal to fund activities that are abhorrent to it's doctrine. If you, catholic or not, accept church employment, expect the church not to sponsor activities it considers, wrongly or wrongly, heathenistic. The church should not be able to compel confession from
It's employees, regardless of faith, but it should be able to require prospective employees not to expect financial support for abortion

Feb 06 12 - 3:08am

I really, really don't get how cervical cancer screenings as not an option for women who are employed by x institution is up for debate.

Feb 06 12 - 10:30am
Hosp Italized

I can sort of understand why a school or charity wouldn't want to pay for aspect of health care of which it disapproves. But hospitals? You would think that a hospital of all places would support all types of health care; that's the business they're in. Apparently not, though. Maybe Catholics and other extremists shouldn't be allowed to become doctors; they might have to perform a procedure of which their dogma disapproves.

Feb 06 12 - 9:59pm

I didn't see any mention of abortions having to be funded... unless you consider the morning-after pill to be an abortion pill... which of course would be ridiculous for a multitude of reasons. For instance, even if you did consider the fetus to be a human being, the three-day period within which the morning-after pill would be even close to effective is barely enough time to allow the sperm to penetrate the egg. For those who have not taken rudimentary biology, a sperm is not a human being, nor is an egg. It is the meeting between the two which would constitute the zygote, the most basic form of an embryo, and therefore the most basic form of a fetus which some would consider a human being. I digress. The point is, abortion is not listed as being a mandatory requirement, and the morning-after pill cannot be considered an abortion pill as there would be no embryo to abort within the three days after a person having sex. Unless, of course, the barely-formed mass of cells is considered an embryo. In which case we'd have to consider getting a cut or a scrape equivalent to an abortion, since in both cases one loses cells.

Feb 06 12 - 10:13pm

Catholics believe life starts at conception and that regular birth control pills and Plan B, since they can kill fertilized eggs by preventing implantation, aren't cool with them.

Feb 07 12 - 2:06pm

This is America, land of the free. The Catholic Church needs to clean up its own child-molesting house before trying to tell the rest of us free Americans how to live our lives. And even then, the opinions of a church don't matter.

Feb 09 12 - 2:48pm

As usual, the birth control and contraception issue is out of control and the catfight switch has been flipped. Those still capable of thinking in this sort of political environment might have to ask themselves, why is it considered "religious freedom" to prohibit and why is it considered an "assault on religious freedom" to allow? Certainly, anyone who doesn't want to use birth control is not mandated to do so and, therefore, will not require the insurance benefit. However, there are those who will choose birth control, and it makes little sense for them to be denied the insurance benefit. We truly need more mathematicians in this country. They could probably help people understand that those who choose not to have children or who are biologically incapable of doing so--and that would include the gay population--may be doing "them" somewhat of a favor. Ah, but I guess in these days religious and other freedoms are granted mostly to those who agree with those who profess the loudest or contribute the most to elections. Hmmmm . . . it seems to me we have engaged in a number of foreign wars just so that sort of thing wouldn't happen. And, don't you find it interesting that the same people who are so supportive of the right to life seem to have so little angst associated with sending off someone's child to a foreign war essentially to defend private economic interests? It's all starting to make so little sense.