Birth Control: Why Catholic Bishops Have Lost Their Clout In US Politics - Page 2
“All women deserve access to the same health protection. It's up to the individual woman to decide whether to practice contraception or not,” adds Bill Press.
The intellectual dishonesty of the Catholic Bishops, especially in this contraception issue is palpable.
As Press puts it, it’s appalling when these Bishops raise "holly hell" against Obama for what they claim is an infringement of their religious freedom, yet they “fail to acknowledge, for example, that not everybody who works in a Catholic hospital or university is a Catholic — and should not, therefore, be bound by narrow Catholic attitudes toward sex.”
Anyone listening to the Bishops’ protestations will never know that long before the Obama administration acted, 28 states — including Mitt Romney's home state of Massachusetts and Newt Gingrich's home state of Georgia — had already adopted regulations requiring contraception coverage without co-pay. Eight of those states don't even provide an opt-out provision for churches.
It’s also true but one cannot tell that from the Bishops’ intellectual dishonesty that many leading Catholic universities — including DePaul University, America's largest Catholic university — include a prescription contraceptive benefit as part of their basic health insurance for all employees.
Yet, these Bishops are obviously trying to tap into the false narrative that Obama is a Muslim or the even more outlandish and shameless one that hates America and its institutions, including religion—to mobilize opposition to this otherwise noble and commonsensical rule.
Press and others note that ever since Pope Paul VI condemned contraception in his 1968 encyclical letter entitled Humanae Vitae: On the Regulation of Birth, the Catholic Church has been fighting a losing battle on this very issue.
Today, even though the Church is officially against it, 98 percent of Catholic women who are sexually active say they practice some form of birth control, this according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute.
By demanding government permission to deny contraception coverage in their own health plans, Press convincingly argues, "what Catholic bishops are really trying to do is get President Obama to deliver where they have failed, namely, enforcing “some outdated, anachronistic and unrealistic policy of an out-of-touch, celibate Catholic hierarchy.”
The White House says the rule is all about women’s health and nothing more and nothing less.
This, according to Press and many objective observers, is the real issue, not Catholic teaching or religious freedom.
Guttmacher found that 58 percent of women who use birth control do so, not just to prevent pregnancy, but for other important health reasons, like reducing the risk of ovarian cancer or treating uterine fibroid tumors and anemia.Continued on the next page