Recently, the Obama administration proposed a policy mandating that employers offer health insurance to its employees that fully covers contraception. And the Catholics are pissed. Why you may ask, because religious organizations are not exempt from this policy. The Catholic Church protests that this is infringing on their religious beliefs.
The fact that this is even an issue absolutely infuriates me. Now, I’m not a politician, I’m not in the insurance industry or medical field but I am a woman and a Catholic so I get a say in this matter too. Here are the facts:
* This is not a direct attack on the Catholic Church. No one business or organization is being singled out. This is following up with the policy that ALL employers, non secular and secular alike are to make sure their employees have affordable contraception available to them. This includes organizations that are Jewish, Mormon, Protestants, you name it. Not even the Church of Scientology is exempt from this.
* This policy excludes houses of worship. So no, they will not be handing out the pill along with mass on Sunday morning.
This simply means that religious organizations such as The University of Notre Dame or St. Mary’s Hospital will offer health insurance to its staff that fully covers contraception. And please remember that ‘offer’ is the key word here. They are not forcing it down our throats and regulating the population. This is not China.
Personally, I was elated to find out that I no longer had to pay out of pocket for my $50 a month birth control. That’s a whopping savings of $600 a year. $600 people! That money that could be used to pay off some debt or save towards a down payment on a home. In all probability it will be spent towards frivolous things like shoes or clothes but hey, I like to think of that as just paying it back to the economy.
Now, my employer is non secular so it sounds like I’ll be covered either way. But I have to think about the poor women who may not be. To be singled out because they work for a hospital or institution affiliated with the Catholic Church. Their supervisor may not be Catholic, the employees may not be Catholic but the Catholic Church doesn’t care about that. They only care about their beliefs being imposed on. Beliefs that were written and implemented by a bunch of men. Men who are (ahem, supposedly) celibate nonetheless and don’t have a grasp on what a sex life is.
So the Catholic Church may be pissed but this particular Catholic is enraged. It doesn’t matter that 98% of Catholic women have used contraception. The church doesn’t approve of it. In fact, the only kind of birth control the church does approve of is the rhythm method which is completely outdated and extremely ineffective. Ask my parents, they relied on it and popped out six kids. Do they regret having those six kids? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that I want six kids of my own. I would like to be able to have some kind of say of when I am ready to have a child. I would like to be as prepared as I can in order to give him or her the best life possible. And I would like to be able to put a cap on the number of hims or hers so that I can actually afford to do things like feed them. Also, the fact that affordable, available contraception could potentially result in less abortions and unwanted children has gone overlooked. This should be a good thing for the Catholic Church
I understand that many Catholics will argue that it’s God’s will and to let nature take its course but people forget that we no longer live in the stone age. God gave us the necessary tools to build an advanced society for ourselves. And I get that the majority of the protestors will say that this is an attack on religious freedom. And for those I say, get over yourself. Your beliefs aren’t being attacked. Now the bloodbaths of the Crusades, those were attacks. The past (and sometimes present) of the Catholic church is just too corrupt to even begin to get all high and mighty over beliefs and what is right and wrong. I’m a Catholic women who’s been taking birth control for the past 12 years. Does that make me a bad person? No. Does that make me a bad Catholic? I don’t believe it does. And it also doesn’t mean that I’ve been spreading my legs for every guy I’ve met for the past 12 years. Women take contraceptives for a variety of reasons and unless you have a vagina whatever opinion you may have should be kept to yourself. I’m talking to you Rick Santorum along with the leaders of the Catholic Church. Employees of religious organizations should be allowed to have affordable contraceptives too. They shouldn’t have to pay a premium just because a board composed of people they have probably never met believe it’s wrong and choose to impose their religious beliefs on them.