Below is an email sent out by President Obama’s Deputy Campaign manager. This particular email was dated Feb 4th. My comments are in green. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops response is in blue.
[Generic Obama Supporter],
I want to set the record straight on some things the other side’s been saying about the Obama administration’s decision on contraception.
Tuesday night, after the Florida primary, Newt Gingrich said that President Obama’s administration has “declared war on the Catholic church and other religious organizations,” and Mitt Romney said the President is forcing “religious organizations to violate their conscience.”
Why? Because last month, President Obama and his administration announced the simple decision
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: Simple decision? Violating the consciences of Catholics by forcing them to pay for abortifacients was a simple decision? If this was a “simple” decision, how long until this administration makes a “complex” decision–and forces us to violate our consciences even more?[/message]
to protect women’s health by making sure all women have free access to contraception. No one will be forced to buy or use it, but for women who use it, it will be available.
The attacks just don’t hold up.
First things first: There will be an exemption for churches who mainly employ and serve members of their own faith. But to make sure women of all faiths can get the care they need, other religious-based institutions that serve the general public will be included in this new law.
There’s been a lot of misinformation out there, so I put together 6 things every woman and person of faith should know about this decision:
#1 Contraception is important for women’s health
Scientists and medical experts agree that contraception is important for women’s health. The fundamental belief behind this decision is that women should have access to this care, without having to worry about cost.
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: Let’s focus on the abortifacients this plan will force Catholics to pay for. How are those important for a women’s health? Is pregnancy now a disease? Is that what Obama meant when he said he wouldn’t want his daughter “punished with a baby”? What are we teaching our children about the bond between a man and a women? Is sex no longer a decision?[/message]
#2 Churches are exempt from the new rules
Churches and other houses of worship will be exempt. Other religious organizations that serve women regardless of their faith, like hospitals and universities, will have one year to transition to the new rules.
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: Why even mention the one year transition? What is a year going to accomplish? The bottom line is the government is forcing Catholic employers to either drop health coverage for their employees, or violate their consciences. It’s the same as forcing a Muslim school to serve pork in it’s cafeteria, or forcing a Baptist pastor to marry a gay couple.[/message]
[message type="info" show_close="false"]USCCB Response: This is not entirely true.To be eligible, even churches and houses of worship must show the government that they hire and serve primarily people of their own faith and have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose.Some churches may have service to the broader community as a major focus, for example, by providing direct service to the poor regardless of faith.Such churches would be denied an exemption precisely because their service to the common good is so great.More importantly,the vast array of other religious organizations – schools, hospitals, universities, charitable institutions – will clearly not be exempt.[/message]
#3 Individual religious beliefs will be protected
Just as no woman will be forced to buy or use contraception, these rules will also cover the “conscience clause,” meaning no doctor will be forced to prescribe contraception.
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: This is a completely false statement. If I am a business owner, and my individual belief is that it is a sin to pay for an abortifacient drug for my employee, my individual religious belief is NOT being protected. [/message]
[message type="info" show_close="false"]USCCB Response: It is true that these rules directly apply to employers and insurers, not providers, but this is beside the point:The Administration is forcing individuals and institutions, including religious employers, to sponsor and subsidize what they consider immoral.Less directly, the classification of these drugs and procedures as basic “preventive services” will increase pressures on doctors, nurses and pharmacists to provide them in order to participate in private health plans – and no current federal conscience law prevents that from happening.Finally, because the mandate includes abortifacient drugs, it violates one of the “existing conscience protections” (the Weldon amendment) for which the Administration expresses “strong support.”[/message]
#4 More than 75 percent of Catholic women are actually behind this
There’s widespread support for covering birth control at no cost: 71 percent of Americans, and 77 percent of Catholic women, support it. And 98 percent of Catholic women have reported using contraception.
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: Of course, the administration is using data from the Guttmacher Institute–founded by–you guessed it, Planned Parenthood. No conflict of interest there! Here’s an idea, if you want to have contraception covered in your health plan, then don’t work for a Catholic institution. Of course, that is a very American idea based on individual freedom–an idea that seems to have escaped this administration.[/message]
[message type="info" show_close="false"]USCCB Response: This is irrelevant, and it is presented in a misleading way. If a survey found that 98% of people had lied, cheated on their taxes, or had sex outside of marriage, would the government claim it can force everyone to do so? But this claim also mangles the data to create a false impression.The study actually says this is true of 98% of “sexually experienced” women.The more relevant statistic is that the drugs and devices subject to this mandate (sterilization, hormonal prescription contraceptives and IUDs) are used by 69% of those women who are “sexually active” and “do not want to become pregnant.”Surely that is a minority of the general public, yet every man and woman who needs health insurance will have to pay for this coverage.The drugs that the mandate’s supporters say will be most advanced by the new rule, because they have the highest co-pays and deductibles now, are powerful but risky injectable and implantable hormonal contraceptives, now used by perhaps 5% of women.The mandate is intended to change women’s reproductive behavior, not only reflect it.[/message]
#5 This will reduce employer costs
The National Business Group found that employers would pay 15-17 percent more not to provide contraception coverage.
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: Well why didn’t you say so!!! This makes everything better. If this will reduce costs, then who cares about my morality? Why not take it a step further? Let’s go ahead and just euthanize anyone who has a terminal disease–that will definitely reduce costs–I mean, we are no longer concerned with our consciences right? Why not?[/message]
#6 The President stands with the faith-based community
These new rules are consistent with the President’s commitment to religious liberty. The President is proud of his administration’s partnerships and strong support of faith-based organizations.
[message type="success" show_close="false"]dUSt response: Is this a joke? Can somebody please check snopes.com to see if this email is real?[/message]
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America
I highly recommend reading the entire response by the USCCB here. They are like, way smarter than me: http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-020.cfm
And remember, over 40 years ago, Pope Paul VI, in Humanae Vitae, warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:
- General lowering of moral standards.
- A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy.
- The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.
- Government coercion in reproductive matters.
Prophetic, wouldn’t you say?
Peace and carrots.