Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) spoke out forcefully in favor of reproductive rights on Wednesday in Homer, Alaska, as many in her party have sought to restrict them.
Posts Tagged With: contraception
Arizona legislators have advanced an unprecedented bill that would require women who wish to have their contraception covered by their health insurance plans to prove to their employers that they are taking it to treat medical conditions. The bill also makes it easier for Arizona employers to fire a woman for using birth control to prevent pregnancy despite the employer’s moral objection.
It seems to me that some politicians, media commentators and private citizens, as well as many religious institutions, need to examine their ideas of liberty and freedom and the way those ideas relate to the Constitution and to other folks.
I’ll be one of the first to admit that different groups of people have varying ideas about the same subject. That is why laws are needed, decided on and written down. I don’t like all of them, and I’m sure that none of you are actually comfortable with every law on the books. The laws are, however, there for a reason. Generally speaking, the reason is to keep individuals or groups of people from trying to use their collective liberty to take away personal freedoms from others. There is a good example in the news today that illustrates what I’m referring to.
The Obama administration has denied a religious exemption by which religious hospitals and universities could opt out of covering contraception costs for employees in their company health plans. The Obama administration’s denial of that exemption means that even if the religious institution (church, hospital, etc.) morally objects to contraception, their medical insurance for employees must cover contraception costs. A company or institution must, by law, cover in an inclusive health plan all medical or surgical problems which the insured may encounter.
Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for Mitt Romney, commented on the decision in an email to the New York Times: “This is a direct attack on religious liberty,” she said.
Plainly stated, Ms. Saul is wrong. The Obama administration’s ruling is a protection of individual freedom, not an attack on religious liberty. The Obama administration ruling requires religious hospitals and universities to fully cover contraception costs for their employees, even if they object to contraception on moral grounds. An individual who has been working at (or for) the institution cannot be excluded by a change of their existing policy. New hires may be required to either opt out of contraception coverage at a reduction of policy cost, or seek other employment.
The ruling also protects personal freedom — and religious liberty — by not demanding that members of a religion be prohibited from exercising their personal freedoms unless comparable actions by others are also prohibited by law.
It’s really simple. Why try to make it difficult?