Magazine article Church & State

Cardinal Dolan Says Women Can Get Birth Control at 7-Elevens

Magazine article Church & State

Cardinal Dolan Says Women Can Get Birth Control at 7-Elevens

Article excerpt

The most powerful Catholic bishop in the country recently opined that women don't need health-care plans that ensure access to no-cost birth control because it is widely available at convenience stores.

Appearing on CBS News' "Face The Nation," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced that Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores whose owner opposes some forms of contraceptives, should be able to defy the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate because women can buy birth control at 7-Eleven stores.

Dolan asserted that contraceptives are "widely available," adding, "By Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-Eleven or any shop on any street in America and have access to them. Is that right to access those and have them paid for, is that such a towering good that it would suffocate the rights of conscience?"

7-Eleven stores do sell condoms, and perhaps that's what Dolan meant. But critics were quick to point out that condoms--a male-centered form of birth control--are hardly the answer for most couples. Most women rely on birth control pills or devices like IUDs. Such products are not available at convenience stores.

In fact, hormonal birth control methods, with the exception of certain morning-after pills, aren't available over the counter anywhere. A woman must visit her doctor for a prescription, and prior to the Affordable Care Act, the cost of both the doctor visit and prescription placed contraception out of the reach of some women.

Women's health advocates note that hormonal birth control isn't used solely to prevent pregnancy. …

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