Sunday, March 11, 2012

Because I'm Not Sure You've Considered This...

So, the Catholic church, aka my Home Boyz are in the news again. The good news is, it's not for abusing children! The bad news is, they're still taking a lot of flack.
It seems, in my neck of the woods at least, there's a pretty big backlash against anyone who's not super gung-ho about requiring everyone to provide women with birth control and sterilization services with no co-pay. Such people are, you know, pretty much evil, misogynistic, ignorant, hateful, and probably a crazy Christian along with all of the above.
Well, ok, I'm just going to have to expose myself (no pun intended...) and take the fall-out. I. Am not all gung-ho about requiring everyone to provide free birth control and sterilization to all women.
Let me be clear: I am NOT anti-birth control. I'm a user who regularly thanks the Divine for it. I'm not really anti-sterilization, although it does rub my sensibilities the wrong way, that's just a personal thing.

I am NOT anti-affordable birth control. I was pissed as anybody when my chosen form got pulled off the market for safety reasons, and when it went back on, they were reissued their patent that made it illegal for a generic form to get on the market for a long time to come. I paid $100 a month for birth control, and I did not like it. I didn't have insurance at the time. I got it through Planned Parenthood and a fat lot of good it did me.

I AM anti forcing people to do something they feel is morally wrong. This is a free country, we have freedom of religion, we have conscientious objection, etc. This is a huge and vitally important part of who we are.
Let me break down this example for you. It will probably not change your mind, but it should at least give you some food for thought.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is a non-profit company, affiliated with the Catholic Church (obviously). Among other things, like helping immigrants get the help they need to find homes, jobs, schools for their children, free English language classes, help with navigating America's laws and obtaining citizenship, etc., they serve 6.1 million meals a year to New Yorkers in need.
IMPORTANT POINT: They do not ask to see your rosary at the door. They offer their services to anyone in need, regardless of what they do or do not believe, because that is what Jesus taught.

They also hire anyone who is qualified, regardless of what they do or do not believe.

I believe this is called, not discriminating based on religion, and it is widely considered to be a positive thing.

Because they do not discriminate, because they offer their services to anyone who needs them, they do not fit the Affordable Health Care Act's exemption for religious institutions. This exemption only covers institutions that only hire and serve members of that faith. Which...would mean the institution is discriminating against those with different beliefs...which...I kind of thought...was bad? Hmmm...

So, because they don't qualify for the exemption, in less than a year, as things currently stand, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York would be required to offer free birth control and sterilization, things which the Church views as gravely wrong, because it teaches that sexuality should always be open to creating new life, to all of their employees.

The government thus far has made a small compromise, by putting the cost of the birth control onto the insurance company, instead of onto Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. By not making them pay for something they find abhorrent, they have certainly improved the situation, but they're still forcing them to violate their conscience by offering it to their employees.

AND, who are we kidding here? Foisting that cost onto the insurance companies is not going to make them go, "Oh, boohoo!" and cut their profits. It's going to make everyone's premiums go up.

Let's be clear here: women who feel their birth control should be co-pay free don't have to work for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York! True story! They have the FREEDOM to work anywhere they want! They also have the FREEDOM to buy a generic form of birth control without insurance for a remarkably low cost, OR to obtain it from Planned Parenthood for a remarkably low cost. Sterilization is a bit more expensive, yes, but again, these women can work wherever they please.

I realize there's much more to this issue, many more facets of it to consider. Oh, rest assured, I have sooooo much more to say, and yes, I promise, I'll get around to arguing the other side, too. I wanted to clearly explain this viewpoint that I feel gets totally ignored by just about everybody, because I think it's important. If we allow the government to say that any institution's freedom of religion is not legitimate, or doesn't matter, or doesn't count, we place EVERYBODY's freedom in jeopardy.

We'd better have a pretty damn good reason for letting ourselves head in this direction, and if you ask me, "Women shouldn't have to pay a $30 copay for medication that makes their body work in an artificial way so they can have sex without the naturally occurring consequence of pregnancy!!" is not a good enough reason. And no, I don't think it needs to be free because women use it for hormone replacement therapy, reduction of PMDD symptoms, or anything else either.

Can you argue that Catholic Charities should be willing to pay for it if it's being prescribed for these other reasons? Yeah, totally. My parent's old insurance functioned that way: it was only covered if the doctor called the insurance company and told them the condition it was being prescribed for, not for pregnancy prevention. Will they agree with that assessment? Oh, well, probably not.

Hey, I never said the Church was perfect! Or that I am, for that matter...so please,

Debate; don't hate!

I'll be back to add more fuel to the fire in a week or so, after an Omily Tarot post and an Eating Omily post, hopefully.

Live Omily!
~em

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