The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the latest White House proposal on health insurance coverage of contraceptives, saying it did not offer enough safeguards for religious hospitals, colleges and charities that objected to providing such coverage for their employees. The bishops said they would continue fighting the federal mandate in court. [New York Times]


PRESIDENT OBAMA once again gets schooled by the Catholic Church patriarchy, who don’t want a compromise. They want the Catholic Church and all its entities to be above and beyond U.S. law.

“The administration’s proposal maintains its inaccurate distinction among religious ministries,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities. The Department of Health and Human Services offers what it calls an “˜accommodation,’ rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.”

[…] Under the latest proposal, churches and nonprofit religious groups that object to providing birth control coverage on religious grounds would not have to pay for it. Women who work for such organizations could get free contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies. The institution objecting to the coverage would not pay for the contraceptives. Costs would be paid by an insurance company, with the possibility that it could recoup the costs through lower health care expenses resulting in part from fewer births.

The Catholic Church doesn’t want contraception used by women of their faith.

It is the most outdated and preposterous edict to demand Catholic women follow, especially considering the vast majority of these women rely on birth control at some time in their lives.

That birth control is the single biggest liberator of women is at the heart of the Catholic Church objection to more women having it, because self-determination is something that frightens male religious leaders, because it puts women in the position of being mistresses of their own fate.

From the Guttmacher Institute:

  • Among all women who have had sex, 99% have ever used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning. This figure is virtually the same among Catholic women (98%).
  • Among sexually active women of all denominations who do not want to become pregnant, 69% are using a highly effective method (i.e., sterilization, the pill or another hormonal method, or the IUD).
  • Some 68% of Catholic women use a highly effective method, compared with 73% of Mainline Protestants and 74% of Evangelicals.
  • Only 2% of Catholic women rely on natural family planning; this is true even among Catholic women who attend church once a month or more.
  • More than four in 10 Evangelicals rely on male or female sterilization, a figure that is higher than among the other religious groups.

And people wonder why organized religion is losing strength in America?

Catholics for Choice released this statement:

What is the matter with the bishops? Last week the Obama administration conceded the health and welfare of women to placate the bishops, and yet they’re still railing that they’re somehow offended. The new, expanded designation of employers who can claim a full exemption to contraceptive coverage”“that means no “˜accommodation'”“will, for example, affect employees (and their dependents) at more than 6,000 Catholic schools. One million employees and their dependents at thousands of Catholic-related institutions will have to hope that the alternative ways to access contraception work as well as those in the administration claim they will. But the bishops got what they wanted: they and their friends don’t have to provide coverage for birth control, religious liberty of their employees be damned.

“The bishops’ hyperbolic reaction to the provision of basic healthcare reveals how far they have strayed from the social justice tradition that most Catholics embrace. Having failed to convince Catholics to avoid using modern methods of family planning, the hierarchy is reduced to demanding that the federal government enforce their prohibition, or at least make contraception more expensive for the bishops’ employees than it is for the rest of the population. This is an unconscionable attack on the healthcare available to employees at Catholic-related institutions who forsake higher salaries and better benefits because of their own commitment to social justice.

“The bottom line, which the bishops don’t want to acknowledge, is that Catholics use contraception at the same rate as do all Americans. Some 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women have used a method that the bishops prohibit. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the bishops are still complaining about contraception”“but the administration should stop listening. Catholics already have.”