If you don't believe in a law, do you have to follow it. (Thoughts please)

Another gem brought to you by the Catholic church

I would think anyone who really wanted to use contraceptives wouldn’t be working for the RCC.


Where’s the moral problem with offering contraceptives under the health plan, as required by law, but continuing to teach against the use of contraceptives? Then each Catholic gets to make his/her own moral decisions. Neat!

Shirley Ujest: The title of this thread is a bit misleading: the RCC does appear to be following the law. They’re just contesting it in court.

Lord Ashtar: The linked-to article clearly covers that there are lots of non-Catholics employed in some way by the RCC (think of all the hospitals they own, etc.). The RCC owns everything–haven’t you ever seen the Godfather III? :wink:

masonite: The problem is that the RCC is being forced, by law, to distribute substances they view as immoral. It think it’s analogous to forcing an insurer to provide medical marijuana (another useful substance that many find immoral).

I’m with the church on this one. If they don’t want to provide their employees contraceptives because doing so contradicts their religious beliefs, fine. Hopefully the employees would fight back–imagine how powerful the message would be if there were massive strikes at the 77 hospitals they own. IMO, stuff like this is yet another reason why socialized health care is a Good Thing.

How about a compromise? Catholic Charities can be exempt from the law, but they don’t get any funding from the government.

Oops, there went two-thirds of their budget.

That would work for me, MEBuckner. The article in the OP didn’t mention that at all, and it changes things (in this particular case).

It doesn’t bother me too much either way.

If they include contraceptives in their health plans, they can still teach that it’s wrong to use them.

And if they don’t, then the people on those plans can just pay for their own contraceptives, the way everyone who isn’t on a contraceptive-inclusive health plan would.

Sure. I think the 55MPH speed limit is ridiculous. If I get a ticket, do I get to tell the officer, “Sorry, but I have moral objections to speed limits”?

Or, like MEBuckner said, if you want to be a private organization, quit taking my money.

The idea of a health plan which doesn’t include contraceptives is ridiculous in and of itself. The ability to exert some control on when pregnancies occur is essential to a woman’s health and something which should not be subject to the outside control of a non-medical authority. Until the Pope is also a gynecologist, there’s no reason why RCC-owned entities should feel that they have a superceding moral right to prevent their female employees from accessing this most basic health care through their insurance plans.

Considering that RCC-owned entities don’t pay their employees salaries which are on par with similar entities owned by non-sectarian institutions and paying for drugs out of pocket is therefore a greater burden on RCC-entity employees than their professional peers, suggesting that as an alternative solution is unacceptable to me.

A lot of organizations have moral stances, but those stances don’t change the basic nature of what health insurance is and who should control what services doctors provide to their patients. If a non-Jehovah’s Witness employee of the Watchtower Publishing House (I don’t know if such exists, but in the case that they do) were in a terrible car accident and received 8 units of blood, should he have to pay the several thousand dollars for that blood out of pocket because the JW theology rejects blood transfusions?

If a non-vegetarian Seventh Day Adventist who is employed by a SDA entity has a stroke because of their extremely elevated cholesterol, should the SDA be able to say “We’re not going to pay the hospital bills because morally, you were wrong to have eaten the meat that raised your cholesterol to begin with!”

Providing comprehensive health care coverage is the responsibility of large-scale employers throughout this country. If an organization isn’t prepared to do so in a way that recognizes that they are not responsible for nor are they capable of making medical decisions for their employees, they need to reconsider their role as business owners in this country. That goes for the RCC and all of the antiquated patriarchal entities which attempt to keep their heavy corporate thumb on their female employees’ reproductive health in this onerous way.

When I read the thread title, my first thought was “Disobey any law you want, as long as you’re willing to take the consequences.” I’m still of that mind. If you want to smoke dope, accept the fact that you might get arrested and fined or imprisoned. If the Catholic organizations don’t want to provide contraceptive coverage, then they should be subject to all the penalties that the law provides. Including being fined and/or shut down.

Also: this fight is over the Catholic Charites, not the actual RCC itself. The RCC is exempt from this law.

Also, what about women who take The Pill for reasons other than contraception? I know a couple that take it for health reasons. So is it alright then? Or still immoral?

I am not sure if this is official RCC policy, but I was told during my training by a very devout catholic OB/GYN doctor that since it interfered with the ability to conceive, it was a sin no matter what the reason for taking it.

Tho I admit he did not hesitate to do a hysterectomy to save the life of the woman, even though it would leave her infertile.

I hope someone has the straight dope on the RCC position of using hormonal therapy for purposes other than contraception, even when said use renders the woman effectively infertile.

If they believe that contraceptive use is sinful and thus damages a user’s relationship with God, why should they be required to fund it? Just because the government sees contraceptive funding as a good thing, it doesn’t mean that churches with a genuine religious exemption should be made to fund something which they believe to endanger one’s eternal well-being.

On the other hand, things don’t look promising for Catholic Charities.

I hope the Catholics win. Next people will be trying to force them to cover abortions in their health plans, too. Assholes.

So, SnoopyFan, let me get this straight. You support not covering birth control and making abortion illegal. Tell me, do you approve of anyone having sex? It seems to me the more common birth control is, the less common abortion will be, and I really don’t understand the mindset of people who would ban both. By the way, where do you stand on Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs being covered by health insurance? I ask out of genuine curiousity.

As for the OP, our esteemed Lynn Bodoni has already said what I was going to say. I think the Catholic Church’s position on birth control is wrong; on the other hand, that’s one reason I’m Episcopalian. I would also not be happy if my health insurance did not cover contraception, although I’ve no idea if my current one does (I’m afraid I don’t need it right now). On the other hand, in this economy, people are taking whatever jobs they can get. I’d say if you break the law, accept the consequences, whether that mean losing funding, losing top employees to maternity leave, or having potential top employees turn you down because they believe you provide inadequate health insurance.

(Oh Og! Speaking of Viagra, an ad for it came on while I was finishing that! Is it really that obvious when someone’s getting laid? I don’t remember.:frowning: )

This analogy is really horrible
[li]Breaking traffic laws puts other people in imminent danger, making people buy their own contraceptives doesn’t[/li][li]There is no constitutional protection for driving like an asshole, there is for practicing a religion[/li][/ul]

Note that the law that’s being contested applies to all employee drug plans, not just ones funded partly with government money.

Do you think it’s the government’s place to tell private organizations what procedures they should and shouldn’t fund?


Maybe I have a reading comprehension problem, but I don’t see how SnoopyFan’s statements imply that he supports “not covering birth control.” From what I’ve read, he supports not forcing private organizations to fund birth control. There is a huge difference between the two. I’m pro-birth control and pro-choice, but I’m against this law.

Maybe he is anti-birth control, but his one post to this thread doesn’t seem to imply that. The issue here isn’t “Is birth control good or bad?” it’s “Is it OK to force private organizations to pay for procedures that violate their religious convictions?”

Of course. The use of hormonal therapy for legitimate purposes other purposes can be morally acceptable under the principle of “unintended secondary effect.” The effect of limiting the chances of conception must be an unintended, secondary effect.

  • Rick


One more time.

I. Am. A. Woman.

Now, to answer your questions, I think birth control is awesome. It’s great. It’s good to look at your situation and go “hmm, if we want to give our kids the best life possible, we really should do whatever we can to limit it to two children” and then be able to prevent that third kid from being conceived. I also think that pretty much every single Health Department in the country already hands birth control for a small fee or sometimes nothing. Even if you are penniless, somewhere out there you can get your hands on at least some condoms for free, and usually the Pill as well. Those women who are employed by Catholic Charities are certainly not being denied birth control, they are simply being denied their birth control being paid for and arranged by their employer. I’m not feeling too sorry for them considering birth control options are plentiful and cheap in this country.

It makes sense to me for insurance companies to cover birth control, because the last thing any insurance company wants to do is pay for the birth of a baby. Thirty bucks a month for the Pill to prevent a $10,000 (at least) hospital bill when a baby is born makes sense to me. I think it’s silly for insurance companies to pay for anti-impotence drugs, but apparently they figured it was in their best interest, business-wise, to do so. More power to 'em.

However, forcing private organizations to pay for things that are against their religious convictions is something I do not support. Nobody has the “right” to have their birth control paid for by someone else, or covered by their health insurance. Churches do, however, have the right to practice their faith as they see fit. If Catholic Charities ends up losing good employees because of this setup, that’s a consequence of their actions that they will have to deal with. I doubt they’ll lose any sleep over it.