Friday, March 23, 2012

Contraceptive mandate violates civil, religious rights

A few days ago our local newspaper published an op-ed, written by a female attorney. In this 'In My View' piece she referred to the attempt, by 'old white men' in our KY legislature, to force women into a 'second class citizen' status. She went on to claim that the pro-life bills held up in committee by the Senate  were an attempt to keep women 'barefoot and pregnant'. Our diocesan Gospel of Life Committee meeting happened to be the next night and I was given permission to officially counter her with an  op-ed, 'In My View' rebuttal.Our newspaper requires a paid subscription for online viewing so I have simply rewritten it below:

Contraceptive mandate violates civil, religious rights

The recent debate, over what has mistakenly come to be known as the ‘Contraception Controversy’, is an underhanded attempt to enslave women (as well as all people of faith) instead of freeing them. In reality, the HHS Mandate creates a third class of citizens – men and women who are allowed no conscience protection.  This violation of personal civil rights flies in the face of every Catholic man and woman.  By coercing them to be a party to providing ‘services’ contrary to their beliefs, they are being enslaved by a culture that disagrees with how the Church teaches them to live their daily lives. Despite the sleight of hand arguments, the question isn’t about how many Catholics obey every teaching set forth by the Church; nor is it about the Church forcing her beliefs upon others. It is about the right of the Catholic Church to maintain the identity of her institutions and schools while operating in a secular world. This coercion via government mandate attempts to force Catholic employers to provide abortifacients, sterilization, and contraceptives to their employees. Whether this is through the payment of premiums or as insurers themselves, cooperation by Catholic employers would be tantamount to sponsoring an intrinsic evil.

The stakes are very high. The First Amendment and the promise of Religious Freedom provide US citizens with protection against such coercion but that has not stopped the Administration from pushing the point. The Catholic Bishops have done their level best to work out a ‘compromise’ but have been thwarted at every turn. In fact, they were never consulted about the supposed ‘compromise’ at all! They will, however, continue to fight this unconstitutional intrusion into the rights of all people of faith. This is no longer a Catholic issue – it is an American justice issue. Religious rights and the right to live by our belief systems belong to all citizens!

Some, such as Ms. Forrest Roberts in her recent ‘In My View’, express their resentment of being told what to do, as women. This mistaken impression of what truly constitutes justice and respect has been amplified by those who would have you believe that concern for the health and well-being of women is an intrusion rather than a safeguard to be afforded all citizens. 

As SB102 (Face to Face Informed Consent bill) and SB103 (Ultrasound Informed Consent Bill) attest, these are not measures to prevent action by the woman. What these bills do propose to do, is to arm all women with the power of knowledge.

  • ·         Just as is the case with all expectant mothers, a woman considering abortion already has an ultrasound, as a tool to date the gestational age of her child. SB103 simply affords the woman the opportunity to view her pre-born baby. The lack of opportunity to view her child is lamented time and time again by those who would have opted for life had they seen the truth! Rachel’s Vineyard and other post-abortion resources are filled with traumatized women who feel betrayed by this lack of information.
  • ·         SB102 has also been maligned as an invasion of a woman’s right. What this bill actually does is no more than the opportunity afforded to any patient who is planning a surgical procedure.  A face-to-face discussion about abortion and the ability to dialogue with a doctor is a standard of care that is expected – that is, outside the realm of abortion for profit.

Contrary to forcing women into a subservient role in society, measures such as SB102 and SB103 provide a standard of care that is sadly lacking in today’s abortion culture. If the true agenda is the freedom of choice, why oppose steps to bring the regulations for abortion clinics up to the standards required of every other medical facility in the land? Fear of a woman armed with knowledge and the ability to ask questions, drives those who push the abortion agenda to misstatements and fallacies in an effort to subdue women. After all, knowledge is power! Let’s give the power back to the women. We are intelligent enough to employ the facts and make an informed decision. Let’s give the power back to our churches. They deserve the protection afforded to them by the Constitution of the United States!

Follow up post found here --> Stand Up for Religious Freedom – OWENSBORO and
                                 here --> Defending the Catholic Church from the HHS Mandate