The liberals are out in force trying to deflect the furor over the HHS mandate. One would expect no less now that the Catholic Church is openly discussing it from the pulpit and in the media and other religious groups (including non-Christians) have joined in the fray. They are welcome to ranting and spinning as much as any side on a political platform is but the thing that our readers should watch is the details.
The easy targets are those liberal friends, family and boy-I-really-wanted-over-300-friends-on-Facebook-acquaintences. They are likely posting or reposting articles that basically say, “Why are we in such an uproar over contraceptives?”
The next batch is those, like the the folks from Planned Parenthood, who decry the opposition to the HHS mandate as trying to “deny access to contraceptives for women”.
The final batch are those that argue that covering contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization procedures for free will lower health care costs and will be cheaper than paying for unwanted pregnancies.
All are false arguments.
First, the argument against the HHS mandate is largely over the encroachment of the federal government into private and religious groups’ business. This is an issue of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. If the executive branch, including the President, did not see this coming, then he clearly isn’t as smart as he has been made out to be. Whether or not someone uses contraceptives is not relevant. The amount of Catholics that use contraception against Church teaching is also not relevant. These only are deflections from the fact that the federal government is taking a course of action that is unprecedented and unwarranted.
Second, it isn’t only contraception. The mandate clearly covers abortifacients – drugs that induce an abortion. By definition that is not contraception. Conception has occurred and these drugs look to abort the fetus. Let’s be adults here and call it for what it is and what is included.
Third, the key word in the argument, “deny access to contraceptives for women” is “access”. There has been access to contraceptives for women prior to this mandate and prior to Obamacare. Neither change whether or not a woman can access contraceptives. It changes how and who pays for the contraceptives. With the mandate you now have the following potential: a self-insuring organization, like a Catholic Archdiocese, for example, will have to provide abortifacient drugs for free to its insured. When one of their insured, regardless of personal religious affiliation, makes use of that benefit, everyone who pays premiums for their health care plan, has now paid for an abortion.
Fourth, yes, the health care costs for a full term pregnancy and rearing of a child likely outweigh the costs of contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilizations. However, what is the cost of personal responsibility? Free. And guess what? You can keep adhering to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion with that approach.
So be careful letting the spin machine run on high for too long – people will start believing that the issue really is simple. But it’s far from simple and it positions us as a country on a slippery slope of what we’ll accept next.
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