The Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies cover birth control. The NY Archdiocese employee plan won’t though – because yesterday a federal judge ruled that they don’t have to.
Churches are already exempt from providing contraceptive care, but the Archdiocese wasn’t comfortable with any of their employees having their birth control covered by a third party, which is what was happening as a result of the Affordable Care Act:
The plaintiffs had filed suit last year once the accommodation for religiously affiliated employers was finalized, arguing that the lawâ€™s requirement they fill out a form to self-certify their institution should be exempt from the lawâ€™s coverage requirement was itself too much of a burden on their religious beliefs because it forces them to be complicit in a â€śschemeâ€ť to arrange a third party to provide services with which they fundamentally disagree.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan wrote that theÂ religious nonprofit plaintiffs “demonstrated that the mandate, despite accommodation, compels them to perform acts that are contrary to their religion and there can be no doubt that the coercive pressure here is substantial.â€ť
The decision affects more than 25,000 employees – people who will have to come out of pocket for birth control thanks to the church. Are there not more important things to focus on? Are there not hungry people to feed? Or poor people to clothe? Or homeless people to give shelter? The church is so busy forcing their will on employees who don’t even maintain the same religious affiliation – they are wasting precious resources.
This effort can only lead me to believe that the church is more offended by birth control than by abortion. Sorry, but in the real world things just don’t disappear when you turn a blind eye to them (like all of the church’s molestation scandals). Just because the church is in deep, horrific denial about the fact that people will have sex for reasons other than procreation – doesn’t mean their employees shouldn’t benefit from family planning resources that they’re not even paying for.
The Catholic church is overstepping their bounds here. If God spoke to me right now, I’m sure she would agree with me.
(photo: Getty Images)