As part of Obamacare, employers are now required to provide various means of contraception for their employees through the insurance they provide.
That means the cost of condoms, birth control pills and even abortion will now be the responsibility of our bosses.
I see it as an excellent way to provide the option of birth control to women who choose to use it. In the midst of such inclusive and eclectic insurance reform, why not give women more options to choose from?
But the Roman Catholic Church has been up in arms over this, calling it a blatant overreach of presidential power and a direct violation of the religious values held in the Catholic faith.
So Obama offered a compromise: Catholic hospitals, schools and charities will not be required to provide contraception; instead, employees of these institutions will receive this coverage from the insurance company directly with no co-pay.
That wasn’t enough; in fact, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Obama’s attempt to compromise the legislation was only “a first step in the right direction.”
It seems now that the Obama administration won’t bend much further on this issue. The timing is very unfortunate, however, because the GOP has already begun using this to sway Catholic voters away from re-electing Obama.
I understand and respect the fervor being expressed by members of the Catholic Church in support of one of their highest values; however, it seems as if they believe their values are the only values to consider, both in the business sector and in the personal lives of Americans.
This chunk of Obamacare certainly is not designed to force women to use birth control; the intention is simply to provide the option.
One of the four cardinal virtues is prudence, meaning the ability to recognize right from wrong in a practical setting. If the teachings of the Catholic faith are being picked up by its followers, then the church itself shouldn’t be worried about its people using birth control, because they should have the prudence not to.
Since religion is based around faith, then perhaps the church should have faith that its believers won’t succumb to using birth control against their religious beliefs.
Are members of the Catholic Church actually mad about this heightened access to contraception? Or are they just upset that Obama has stepped on their toes?
I believe it is the latter, which is why they are being stubborn as Obama tweaks the mandate in their favor.
So now there appears to be a stalemate between Obama and the bishops and clergy of Catholicism.
The entire situation is also being accentuated by the fact that right-wing politicians are using it to further the notion that Obama is sidestepping the powers granted to him by the Constitution.
But lots of Democratic figures have supported a woman’s right to do what she pleases with her own body.
Obama is getting a much harsher backlash because he is simultaneously making businesses support that right, too.
The key word, however, is “option.” All Obama is doing is taking contraceptive materials and procedures that have always been available to people and transferring the burden of cost to the employer through insurance plans.
I admire Obama for backing a policy that he most likely knew would rattle the cage of Catholicism, and I hope the Catholic Church works with the administration on finding a compromise that is kosher for both parties.