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Obama’s New Contraceptive Coverage Policy Is Still Not Good Enough For Religious Employers

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pillsIn the wake of June’s Hobby Lobby supreme court decision, the Obama administration has announced new measures for contraceptive coverage policy that will allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for contraceptive coverage for it’s female employees while still allowing those employees access to this coverage directly through their insurance company. This means the employer is not actually paying for contraceptives and you would think this would be a good compromise. Apparently, it is not good enough for religious employers, some of which will not approve of any policy where they feel they are complicit in providing coverage that they feel is wrong and immoral.

From CBS news:

Effective immediately, the U.S. will begin allowing faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals to notify the government – rather than their insurers – that they object to birth control on religious grounds. Then the government will instruct a nonprofit’s insurer or third-party administrators to take on the responsibility of paying for the birth control, at no cost to the employer.

Sounds good, right? Wrong. These nonprofits and companies that have “sincerely held” religious beliefs still object. The provision would allow them to file a form that says they will not directly pay for the contraceptive coverage but the insurance company still can and some of these nonprofits and companies feel that it is making a deal with the devil.

The latest proposals, which were expected to be officially released later Friday, will likely run into the same objections, because they still enable employees to receive contraception at no extra charge through their health plans – one of a number of preventive services required under Mr. Obama’s health care law.

I just do not understand where these religious nonprofits and companies are coming from. I get that they have their beliefs and they feel they are complicit in “evil” by allowing their employees to have contraception covered in any fashion but why can’t they pull their heads out of their asses and realize that they cannot expect all of their employees to share their beliefs? Not to mention, the consequences of those employees having babies instead of cheaply preventing them. Doesn’t that cost them a whole lot more in the long run? To me, it seems that they are being discriminatory as they are making it hard for a woman who does not share their religious beliefs to want to work for them knowing that she will need to pay out-of-pocket for her birth control rather than having her insurance cover it.

The bottom line is, if the government allows companies to prize their religious beliefs over the basic healthcare needs of their female employees, then what will be next? What happened to separation of church and state? I cannot understand why any company, religious or not, can cherry-pick what parts of a healthcare plan they will cover and they won’t. I am not sure why they can’t just worry about themselves and not be concerned with the personal healthcare decisions of their employees. As long as they themselves are doing what their religious beliefs dictate why does it matter what other people do? I guess my only hope is that by the time my daughter is looking for employment, this kind of practice will be dead and buried. A company of any kind should not be allowed to dictate what kind of health coverage is covered for their employees. It is quite simply none of their business.

(Image: Doruk Sikman/Shutterstock)

27 Comments

  1. noelle 02

    August 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I share the core beliefs of hobby lobby yet find myself baffled by an objection to this plan. I respect their discomfort in paying for what they see as the destruction of life. However, I cannot see where they feel it is okay to force their values on others. I can walk side by side encouraging another who feels opposite of me. I comforted and supported a friend who chose abortion in high school, sharing my beliefs yet accepting and loving her through a different choice. That’s what “love one another, as I have loved you” means, after all. Not forcing a woman who does not share your values to pay for a legal, covered procedure.

    • Valerie

      August 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      You are awesome and I wish all who held your beliefs were like you. At the heart of it, abortion breaks my heart and makes me want to cry but I would NEVER say that all women should feel the way I do. I personally would never consider abortion but I have a very stable and loving situation with my husband so it is easy for me to feel that way- I realize that not all pregnancies are sunshine and puppy dogs. Why do other people feel the need to impose their beliefs on others? It genuinely puzzles me.

    • Andrea

      August 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Many more than you would think share her view (I do). But there seems to be a vocal minority that is making it their mission to punish women for having sex. And I don’t know this for a fact, but the perception I get is that it is mostly old white men.

    • Spitting_mad

      August 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you. Thank you for being so reasonable and content in following your own beliefs without forcing them on others. Thank you for caring for friends when they pick a different set of beliefs. It’s especially nice to hear when so many extreme voices shout over the majority of sane people.

  2. keelhaulrose

    August 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Don’t you realize it’s not about covering birth control, it’s because sluts need to be punished for having sex. Enjoying sex is for men, and there can’t possibly be another reason for women to want contraceptives other than they are loose moraled.

    In case it’s not obvious that was sarcasm. If you really believe the above you can piss off.

    • Valerie

      August 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      I know you are right and it makes me sick. I am so tired of women bearing the brunt of this “shame”. Like they are all having sex with themselves and men aren’t even part of the equation.

    • Laura Adam

      August 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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    • MiMaWa

      August 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Sounds so absurd but how else do you explain why they cover Viagra for men. Yea so long as the d*ck works ….. Grrrrr

  3. Andrea

    August 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    The bottom line seems to be this: if you are gonna be a slut and have sex, then you pay for your contraception you Ms Slutty McSlutson.

    • SarcasticGuest

      August 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Yeah! And if you can’t afford it, you’ll just have to have a baby. Hopefully you’ll find some money by then because we sure as hell don’t want to help out!

  4. Joye77

    August 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I am sick of these religious corporations already! First of all, I still think it’s stupid that a corporation has a religion. Second of all, why are they forcing their religion on their employees? In this country freedom of religion which means that I don’t have to be forced to follow a certain religion. So why are these companies more or less “forcing” their beliefs n their employees? How is that even permitted.

  5. falcongirl

    August 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    So, how is this not like Quakers saying, “You can’t draft me into your armed forces because my religious beliefs prevent me from engaging in combat. Oh, and you can’t draft anyone in my place, either.” ? I keep hearing the comparison to Quakers, and it seems like this takes it quite a bit too far.

  6. Fudgemaster

    August 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I can’t even get on Facebook anymore because of how many WOMEN will brush this off with slut shaming or “they still pay for birth control, just not the kind that kills babies”. Does life start at ejaculation now? We NEED better sex ed in this country.

    • Fudgemaster

      August 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      And less misogyny wouldn’t hurt either.

    • Joye77

      August 25, 2014 at 12:01 am

      That’s for sure!

  7. Shelly Lloyd

    August 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I do not think these corporations will be happy until they are allowed to ban all female employees from taking any sort of birth control at all, and are allowed to fire any female caught using B.C.

    • noelle 02

      August 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      I disagree with the stance hobby lobby is taking, but in all fairness, the four forms of BC they will not cover are all methods that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. Their issue is solely with what they consider to be abortion-inducing birth control methods.

    • shel

      August 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      But they don’t… science says that they do not cause abortions… The prevent ovulation, the prevent fertilization… that’s part of the problem here. Even the supreme court admitted that Hobby Lobby’s stance is scientifically inaccurate, but if they believe that’s how science works, they get to use that wrong belief to deny coverage. It’s baffling, honestly.

    • noelle 02

      August 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      If pregnancy begins, as scientists say, when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall. That is correct. However, for those who believe pregnancy begins at fertilization, that is incorrect. Plan b says it is intended to prevent fertilization but may prevent implantation. The same is true with IUDs. Their primary purpose is to prevent ovulation or fertilization, but they may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. I just did the research myself to verify and used deliberately only sites assuring that these products do not cause abortions for the sake of accuracy.

    • 2Well

      August 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      It’s called precedent. The ruling is already being used by companies not wanting to cover BC at all. This is a compromise that makes sure the employer isn’t paying for it, but the employees still receive the coverage.

      What they want is women punished for having sex, either through babies or paying full price for BC.

    • noelle 02

      August 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      And I agree 100% with the compromise and am baffled that anyone has an issue with it. I know there are some groups who want no BC for women, but hobby lobbys lawsuit was not about that nor was that their issue. Have fun in your class. It sounds like fun, actually. I miss school!

  8. Personal

    August 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Might a company owned by J. Witnesses be able to refuse to cover organ transplants and blood transplants?

    • shel

      August 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      The door has most certainly be opened for that…

    • Marigold

      August 25, 2014 at 1:13 am

      Actually, most JW’s I know are happy to share the message of the bible, but the majority back off of you and your decisions. They don’t want a blood transfusion for themselves or their children or fellow members of the faith and will fight for those people’s rights, however they don’t picket or assume that fight for others completely unassociated with them. Most I know go by the “set the example” mindset and believe that like hearted ones will see and ask questions. Granted I’m not speaking for every Witness everywhere, there’s always some crazy bad apple that becomes the stereotype, but as I said, most I know are normal people who just want to do no harm and live their lives according to God’s will. (And I say this as a former JW of 25 years, now agnostic.)

    • Personal

      August 25, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Oh, I certainly didn’t mean to insinuate that they WOULD, just that they now possibly COULD. (Sorry, Marigold. I only know a few JWs and the ones I know are wonderfully kind people. I didn’t mean to start anyone thinking prejudiced thoughts against them.)

    • Marigold

      August 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      No worries. 🙂 I wasn’t annoyed with what you said, it’s just that having been on that side of things, I know how it easy it is for JW’s to be vilified for their stance on blood transfusions. While JW’s won’t take whole blood transfusions, modern medicine has developed alternative products that act as a volume expanders, and individuals can decide whether to use other blood based bi-products (proteins and the like).

      And you’re right, the door is open for them to be able to mandate such a decision in a Witness owned business, but I don’t see them doing it. If only because the last thing Witnesses want is to be associated with controversy, bad PR for God, you know. 😉 And again, I’m speaking as a former Witness, haven’t been to meetings in years so their stances may have changed or grown since I last attended. If any JW’s reading see that I’m misinformed, I apologize and please correct my statement.

  9. shel

    August 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    This is so disturbing… I mean, look at all the compromise that is being done to accommodate these bogus demands, but it’s still not good enough…
    I do wish insurance wasn’t tied to employment, since we wouldn’t have this problem… but apparently single payer is communism or some other ‘ism’ that is equally as evil and we’re not allowed to do that in this country….
    So instead, we don’t get to have basic health care provided to half of the population… argh! It just makes me so mad…

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