Obamacare Strong-Arms Religious Beliefs; Pushing Contraception Fails to Promote Health

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 19, 2012 | Go to article overview

Obamacare Strong-Arms Religious Beliefs; Pushing Contraception Fails to Promote Health


Byline: Dana Cody and Rebekah Millard, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Hopes of repealing Obamacare took a beating last week with the election results. For the foreseeable future, implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue, including the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) contraception mandate - a frightening glimpse of what we have to look forward to.

The genesis of the mandate is a prime example of bureaucracy in action: The Health Resources and Services Administration, a branch of HHS, adopted a set of guidelines recommended by a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) - guidelines that were adopted after presentations from groups that vigorously advocate for abortion and contraception, including the Guttmacher Institute, the National Women's Law Center and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. No groups from the other side were allowed to weigh in on the process.

What was the end result of this bureaucracy and political pandering? The definition of preventative services was expanded to include all FDA-approved contraceptive methods (including those with abortifacient propensities), sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling.

Employers with religious beliefs prohibiting the use of contraceptives objected to being forced to violate their conscientious beliefs through funding these services in employee insurance. Half-acknowledging these objections, HHS introduced the religious employer exemption, under which some nonprofit religious employers - essentially those qualifying as houses of worship under the Internal Revenue Code - are exempt from the mandate. This narrow exemption left numerous employers faced with violating their religious convictions or paying hefty fines.

Faced with this choice, many employers have taken to the courts for relief. According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, there are now 40 active cases representing more than 110 plaintiffs throughout the country challenging the mandate on religious-freedom grounds.

The plaintiffs argue that the mandate puts direct pressure on religious exercise by requiring employers to violate their sincere religious beliefs. For example, one plaintiff is Hobby Lobby, a company owned by the Green family. If the company continues to offer employee health insurance without the mandated contraception coverage, it will incur penalties of about $1.2 million per day, beginning in January 2013. If it ceases to offer employee insurance, it will face annual penalties of about $26 million per year. Compliance with the mandate means the additional cost of covering the specified contraceptive items and, more important, it would violate the sincere religious beliefs of the Green family - beliefs they have upheld consistently since their company's inception.

The government argues that this burden is justified by its compelling interest in protecting women's health and gender equality. This sounds good on the surface, particularly as a political talking point.

Yet, what if the premise that contraceptives promote women's health is shown to be unsound?

Closely examined, the evidence on the health impact of the mandated types of contraception suggests that far from benefiting women's health, they actually are seriously dangerous to women's health.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Obamacare Strong-Arms Religious Beliefs; Pushing Contraception Fails to Promote Health
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.