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February 7th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

Battle escalates over Obama rule for contraception coverage at Catholic institutions

By Dan Gilgoff and Lesa Jansen, CNN

(CNN) - The battle over a new White House policy compelling Catholic institutions to cover contraception in health insurance plans continues to escalate, with Republican presidential candidates denouncing the rule, liberal groups spotlighting Catholic support for contraception, and the Obama administration vowing to confront religious concerns head on.

"The president's interest is in making sure that … all women here have access to the same preventive care services,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

“He is also concerned about and understands the religious concerns that have been raised,” Carney said, stressing that the White House would work to see if “the implementation of the policy can be done in a way that allays some of those concerns.”

Earlier Tuesday, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, David Axelrod, signaled that the president might be open to compromise on the issue.

“We certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedoms,” Axelrod said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions.”

But the dispute - spurred by a late January announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that all employers, including Catholic hospitals and schools, will be required to offer free access to FDA-approved contraceptives like the birth control pill and Plan B (the so-called morning-after pill) through health insurance plans - shows no signs of dying down.

”Implementing the policy as is and allaying the concerns are mutually exclusive," Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Tuesday. "If they want to allay concerns, they need to change the policy. Nothing less will do."

Churches are exempt from the policy, which goes into effect August 1, and religious institutions that oppose contraception have been given a yearlong extension to comply.

The Roman Catholic Church, which opposes the use of contraception, continued Tuesday to signal that it is intent on resisting the new policy.

“The bishops aren’t going to stop until this is fixed, and that means pursuing every legal means available to them to fix it,” Picarello said.

The flap was thrust further into the national political spotlight on Tuesday, as Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum attacked the new rule in his victory speech on a night that he swept primaries and caucuses in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

The administration had told American Catholics that “you have a right to health care, but you will have the health care that we tell you you have to give your people, whether it’s against the teachings of your church or not,” Santorum said in his Missouri speech.

“I never thought, as a first-generation American, whose parents and grandparents loved freedom and came here because they didn’t want the government telling them what to believe and how to believe … that we’d have a president of the United States who would roll over that and impose his secular values on the people of this country.”

His GOP rival Mitt Romney has continually denounced the Health and Human Services rule in recent weeks.

Speaking in Loveland, Colorado, on Tuesday, Romney said the rule was “in violation of the religious conscience of (Catholic) organizations.”

“This kind of assault on religion will end if I am president of the United States,” he said.

A survey released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute found that Catholics are divided over whether religious colleges and hospitals should have to provide employees with health insurance that covers birth control at no cost. Forty-five percent of Catholic voters support such a requirement, while 52% oppose it.

“Given how closely divided Catholic voters are over the requirement that religiously affiliated hospitals and colleges provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception,” said Daniel Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, “it seems unlikely that this issue will galvanize Catholics nationally and seriously undermine Obama's electoral prospects with this important religious constituency.”

Planned Parenthood also released a survey on the rule Tuesday; it found that 53% of Catholics think that women employed by Catholic hospitals and universities should have the same rights to contraceptive coverage as other women.

“The message to Democrats is that this is something all women deserve to have and that religion just shouldn’t be an issue with it,” said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, which conducted the survey for Planned Parenthood.

Over the past two weekends, the American Catholic hierarchy has distributed letters harshly condemning the Health and Human Services policy to be read at parishes nationwide during Mass.

“We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law,” Kansas City, Kansas, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann wrote in a letter to parishes last weekend. “Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help rebuild America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God-given rights.”

The rule has also drawn the ire of some influential evangelicals. “I'm not a Catholic but I stand in 100% solidarity with my brothers & sisters to practice their belief against govt pressure,” influential California-based pastor Rick Warren said in a tweet Tuesday night.

“I'd go to jail rather than cave in to a govement mandate that violates what God commands us to do,” Warren tweeted in a separate message. “Would you?”

- CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (1,120 Responses)
  1. Valerie Terzi

    I read these comments and wonder if the average person even understands the true concern with this mandate. Everyone has an opinion about birth control, but the issue isn't really about birth control as much as it is about the government trying to strip away our religious freedom. It wouldn't matter what the mandate was about, the fact is that for the first time in American history, the government is forcing religions to go against it's own faith. Try to think in those terms, then you'll see why so many Democrats like myself will never vote for a politician that thinks nothing of stepping on religious freedom.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • sam

      Melodramatic, much?

      February 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Carol123456

      No that is not it. If an organization hires people from the general public, then it isn't right that they should be denied basic healthcare measures. This is discrimination against women. Period.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      You are 100% correct. This is really about the over-reach of the govt into our lives. But that is the CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN! Obama said he wanted to fundamentally transformed the country. I guess we now know exactly what that means.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • TD

      Nobody is attacking beliefs at all. They are asking that if you hire from the secular public and serve the secular public that you offer health insurance covering legal health options. If you don't believe in it then don't utilize those benefits. No change of belief needed to put fair and equal health coverage in place.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Christianity Sux

      Government is not going against religious freedom. It's the religious groups intruding into commercial activities. Why is a religious organization running a school or a hospital. Those are commercial activities and if a religious organization is doing those things, they should be expected to follow the laws applicable to those businesses

      February 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Whatever

      I agree with you. Regardless of what the topic is, everyone should be concerned at the level of intrusion this administration is demonstrating.
      For those of you who claim this ruling isn't making the church act against it's faith and the church shouldn't hire secular individuals, how many lawsuits do you think would be initiated if the church didn't hire someone because they weren't Catholic? Also, this ruling is making the church fund that which is against it's faith and values. Imagine the uproar if an atheist organization was forced to fund a Bible study......

      February 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • bspurloc

      religious freedom? so what u r saying is ALL employees of the christian taliban church are ONLY christian taliban? or r u saying if they employee a jew that the christian taliban beliefs are forced onto that employee?
      just take the usual stance on such things... IF the employee opts to buy contraceptives declare them a heretic hang and burn them like good ole times

      February 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bolts

      Next thing you know, they will claim paying taxes violates their religious freedom.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • maggie

      Wrong again. What did you think of the 28 states that already implented this mandate at the state level years ago. Aren't they government too?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • sharky

      @Valerie Terzi-

      No, they don't understand it. I am sure they just see it as the church complaining and then more attacks on the church for how dare they complain and Obama is awesome,

      Yes I do understand precisely what it is about.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  2. Carol123456

    I think that an organization that believes women are not fit to be priests, and that any man who sleeps with a woman is fit to be a priest, is NOT an organization that should be dictating health plans for women!

    Hurray for Obama!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Andrew

      Nobody is dictating any health plans to anyone, get off your rocker you liberal hippie feminist.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • bspurloc

      when 47% of your devout followers say u r wrong then u have a problem..... just tar and feather those 47% they will fall inline eh mate

      February 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  3. nothing new here

    Hey RCC, MY taxes should not go to supporting your religious organization.
    Better yet, how about you guys paying some taxes for once?

    February 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • sharky

      What of your taxes go to Catholic organizations?

      February 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  4. nothing new here

    Is the RCC going to sue everybody in the United States that refuses to become Catholic?

    February 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  5. urafkntool

    LOL wow.. got a lot of sensitive people here, likely doing as much wrong as they can, and feeling subconscious guilt because someone's pointing it out.. don't hate the messenger. Hate yourselves for having lives that suck.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • nothing new here

      Go tell that to the RCC.
      They want to hide their child-molesters and be above the laws of this land.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • urafkntool

      Tht's funny, because according to everyone else in the world, they turned "their" child molesters in a long time ago.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • seriously?

      That's adorable! Tell us more. You're so faux-jaded and judgmental! I love your assumptions! It's so great to run into a true paragon of morals such as yourself. I hope I'm half as awesome as you someday. Are you in your 60's? Are you a shut in?

      February 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  6. bat46man

    I'm guessing the Cathlic Church is OK with their PRIEST FONDLING LITTLE BOYS, but GOD forbid them to offer FREE Birth Control to their NON Catoholic Employees.... What a bunch of stupid asswholes!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • stay focused

      Nice deflection. It still doesn't negate the fact that the RCC has religious beliefs and is being FORCED by the government to go against them. If you aren't outrage, you're not awake.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • stay focused

      Nice deflection. It still doesn't negate the fact that the RCC has religious beliefs and is being FORCED by the government to go against them. If you aren't outraged, you're not awake.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • sharky

      You do realize more pedophilia happens within the family or close friends of the family as opposed to the church, right.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  7. nothing new here

    So, the RCC wants to spend $$$$ to sue the government?
    Doesn't the RCC have any morals?
    They would rather spend this $$$$ on attorneys and court costs, instead of helping the poor and marginalized.
    I had lost a lot of respect for the RCC when the pedophilia accusations came into the open. But now the RCC wants to sue everybody that doesn't adhere to their religious beliefs.
    Unreal.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • sharky

      Do you believe in the separation of church and state?

      If yes, then your comment is null and void.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Steven

      The Catholic Church is the most charitable organization in the ENTIRE world. Has been for over 2000 years. Get your facts straight.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  8. frank burnsf

    The Church leaders are lying through their teeth - but what else do church leaders do? They want to limit health insurance in ways that conform to their beliefs, even though their worker's beliefs could be different. Catholic workers don't need to use that insurance for contraception if they don't want to. The bishops, with their delicate consciences are in the same boat as if they paid cash to their workers, and the workers used that cash to buy contraception. In other words, if they can give cash, and the worker decides, they can give unlimited insurance, and the worker decides. This is all about the bishops (a bunch of celibate old men - "celibate" if you don't count involvements with altar boys) trying to force other people's health decisions, and then blowing the thing way out of proportion. Shame on them.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  9. dj98

    OK! No contraception in health insurance plans, No tax breaks! Make your choice!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • jack johnson

      You didn't go far enough 1. No fed. money to hospitals ran by churches. 2. No medicare, or madicad money allowed to be used in these hospitals anyone on federal health would go to a differant hospital. Tje church wants to control womens bodies, but refuse to control priests.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • BReal

      AMEN!! I am tired of people trying to have it both ways!!

      I Love Jesus; I hate religion!

      February 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • sharky

      @jack johnson–

      Ok then if you are in an accident or you need a hospital, do not go to a Catholic one, ensure you find one not run by any religious org at all. The fed tax dollars, if or however much goes to hospitals run by Catholics benefits everyone that attends that hospital. So you are then saying ONLY Catholics can use those hospitals no one else so if you are not Catholic you need to find a different hospital even if it is maybe 20 miles away.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  10. No please ...

    So if a woman goes to her doctor, and needs hormones for any of the other reasons they use them, and works for a CA inti'tution, they don't have to cover ANY hormones ? How exactly are they gonna know what they are RX'd for ?

    My religious beliefs say I must kill my daughter if she dishonors the family. Obama won't let me follow my religious beliefs.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    hahaha, i love it. you have to force the catholic church to do the right thing. always.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • urfknstupid

      I find it sad that women can't do the right thing and stop being wh0res.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • momoya

      Trollers gonna troll.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • urfknstupid

      how am I trolling? Back in the 50's we didn't need this garbage. People had morals and values, not like today.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • seriously?

      Tool...lame attempt at trolling.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I find it sad you were born stupid.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, people had lots of morals. like black people couldn't vote or marry a white person. the 50s were great... if you were a straight, white, christian male. that's it. if you don't fit into that mold, the 50s weren't that awesome. but i bet you'd fit right in there.

      and stop being dumb. you're obviously h_o_mophobic to the extreme. and you really, really hate women.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • urafkntool

      with stupid wh0res like you and h-o-e-h-o-e running around, who wouldn't hate women? And yes, people had actual morals and values. I find nothing bad about the things mentioned, either. Those are.. oh yeah, morals and values. Why in the h-e-l-l would a white person want to marry a smelly, poo flinging chimp anyway? Want wildlife? go to a zoo.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • gerald

      I agree, no one would want a poo-flinging chimp like you, tool.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • urfknstupid's mom

      HONEY, IT'S TIME TO STOP PLAYING ON THE COMPUTER AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I WANT YOU TO REALLY WORK HARD THIS YEAR SO YOU DON'T END UP IN THE REMEDIAL CLASSES AGAIN, WE ALREADY HELD YOU BACK A WHOLE GRADE.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • urafkntool

      God, could you idiots get a little more f-u-c-k-i-n-g cliche'd? Same old s-h-i-t every day. Think of some new material!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • seriously?

      We're just desperate for more of your truth. Help us be original by convincing us to backslide to the dark ages you live in! That would be great. You must be very popular with your friends and family!

      February 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • gerald

      wow...I never thought of it that way before...i'm going home and tell my wife i', just trying to 'give her a gift'. lololololol fing jokester

      February 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @Seriously: I don't particularily believe in "God". I just live life day to day like most people.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • TR6

      @urfknstupid:”how am I trolling? Back in the 50's we didn't need this garbage. People had morals and values, not like today.”

      No they didn’t. The girls just went to “visit out of state relatives” for 9 months. Often returning home just in time for her mom to present “mom’s” new child to the neighbors

      February 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • seriously?

      Live your life like most people? Really? You don't get out often, then, because most people don't behave like you or share your views. I kind of doubt they are your views, actually; you're the worst kind of wh0re. The attention seeking kind.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And most people who graduated from 8th grade know that "cliched" doesn't have an apostrophe but an accent. Of course, morons like you are so clueless they think using a word like "cliched", even if they don't know what it means, is SPECIAL.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • fred

      Booty
      So free abortions, free birth control pill, free condoms, free STD testing, free HPV injections for 9 year olds. I guess if Obama is gonna shove it down the troats of Catholics it is only right to provide these freebees. Their going to need em.

      Exactly how is dragging Catholics into the "safe $ex" illusion any different than Santorum making Tom Tom attend church on Sundays ?

      February 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  12. urafkntool

    if women weren't such wh0res they wouldn't need contraception or abortion, now would they?

    February 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • seriously?

      idk, try keeping your dick in, troll...

      February 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You do know that married women use contraception, don't you? No, of course you don't. You're 12.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • No please ...

      of course men have NOTHING to do with it

      February 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Ed

      @urafkntool, You know you are a great argument in favor of abortion

      February 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • urafkntool

      speak the truth and the ad hominem trolls come out. how.. well, not unusual on cnn's liberal blog.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • seriously?

      It's so cute! It's decided it's speaking the truth and no one else can handle it! Aw, we all wish we could just pinch your little prepubescent cave-dweller cheeks.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why didn't you address the statement about married women, you ball-less wonder? Did you know that statistics show that almost EVERY woman in the US uses contraception at some point in her life?

      That shouldn't be a surprise. After all, wouldn't most women want to prevent spawning a moron like you?

      February 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • urafkntool

      Married women using contraception are violating their marriage vows. They are required to give their husband an heir. "Love, honor, and cherish" does not mean wasting his time in bed at night, or wasting the gift of life he is attempting to give.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • seriously?

      What a hunk of burning love you are! Have you forced your wife to give you heirs yet, as is her duty?? Do you keep her chained to the bed?? I heard that women are like screen doors, you have to bang them a few times to loosen them up! Tell us more!

      February 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • sam

      Waste his time in bed at night? How about nooners, is it ok to waste his time then? Then, wait...GIFT? Haha you wish you had a gift. By this logic, then, guys with ED are pointless, so...is it ok if the church pays for viagra so he can give his gift?

      February 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @seriously: IF it's your business, we tried to. She had a miscarriage. And there's no "faux jading". I do hate women. Except my wife. Everyoen else as far as I'm concerned is a trashy wh0re. Period.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • seriously?

      It's too bad she wasted your time in bed at night...God has just simply decided you should not have children because you're so full of hate. Make sure and keep calling people wh0res whenever you can, though, that'll get you far!

      February 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where in your marriage vows did you find that, honey? Please, you're not even an effective troll; what kind of husband or father would a twelve-year-old moron be? Lucky you haven't managed to have s3x with anything but your sister's undies.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • No please ...

      No one is THAT stupid. What happens AFTER the heir is provided ? 20 more ? OMG. There is a law about being THAT dumb.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @H-o-e-h-o-e: I'm going to laugh when you get r-a-p-e-d by gangs of n-i-g-g-e-r-s in the near future. That's the sort of thing that should happen to mouthy s-l-u-t-s like you. Women need to remember to keep their mouths shut.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Retard

      You should have been aborted

      February 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  13. gerald

    Obama is stupid.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • gerald

      I'm stupid. I wish 'tool would cornhole me sideways.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • No please ...

      he dreams about just that, day and night.
      'tool's so stupid he tried to drown a fish..

      hey a new game...

      February 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • seriously?

      'tool's so stupid he invented a solar flashlight!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  14. Nonimus

    I don't really think the issue is whether or not the CC should provide this coverage, or even what supposed rights individuals have to what health care coverage *they are offered,* but what right does the Federal government have to dictate what kind of coverage is offered to employees.
    Although, I guess that is the essence of the fight against "Obamacare" as a whole anyway.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  15. Reality

    The Catholic hierachy do not believe in artificial birth control so why do they employ those who do? Did not the Supreme Court recently decide that religious organizations have the right to decide who they hire and fire? Bottom line: To reduce health insurance costs and to not be subject to Obama care regulations about supplying contraceptives, Catholic groups should simply not hire those in need of contraceptives and fire those who demand such coverage.

    There are different opinions as to what a religion really is or what a non-profit is. To be fair therefore, there should be no tax-exemptions for any group and that includes the Democratic and Republican Parties. Faith and community initiative grant monies should also be cancelled and there should also be no tax deductions for contributions made to charities and non-profits.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/supreme-court-backs-church-in-landmark-religious-liberty-case/

    "The government must stay out of hiring and firing decisions by a religious organization, even if a minister sues for employment discrimination, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

    Religious freedom groups praised the decision, and especially the fact that it came from a unanimous court."

    February 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, rulings like that would have been great for the mormon church before the 80s. their "extra" book of the bible says black people's skin was turned black by god because they are evil. so the church could use a disgusting ruling like that one as an excuse to hire along racial lines. every other business except the biggest - church - has to be equal and fair. but not religion. they can use religious dogma as an excuse for prejudice.

      i agree they shouldn't be tax exempt, but i don't agree that they should be able to have prejudicial hiring practices.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  16. JerryG1

    Unlike most of my friends, I see and backed the benefit of the federal government using its might and authority to solve the great national problem of healthcare – cost and uninsured.
    This latest ploy lays bare the use of the might and authority of the federal government by leftist democrats to implement their own agenda (birth control, abortion rights, etc.).
    Trampling religious liberty, moral conscience¬, and individual freedom in the process; and exposing President Obama’s administration and Obamacare as fringe, leftist, over-controlling, and over-reaching.
    Exposing ... to the last Independent in the room.
    I'm out of here. If there's anyone left, turn off the lights.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  17. Reality

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    For your next news conference–

    1. WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!

    To all overse-xed h-o-mo-sapiens:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-
    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"

    Obviously, Planned Parenthood, parents and educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "Obviously, Planned Parenthood, parents and educational system have failed miserably on many fronts."

      the only one who fails miserably is you. your statistics are ridiculously off. the pill has an 8.7% fail rate? that is so wrong. that would mean for everyone woman on the pill, she would get pregnant approximately 1 out of every 11 times she had s_e_x. i know at least a dozen women on the pill for years, none of them pregnant, having regular s_e_x. how would you explain that? actually, the pill has a fail rate of less than 1%. seriously, get your facts straight.

      and you should probably get laid too. i know you hate s_e_x and it's all yucky and gross and stuff, but seriously - try it.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • sam

      It's not 'Mr Obama' it's 'President Obama'. Sorry.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Reality

      "Facts on Contraceptive Use

      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
      January 2008

      "WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

      • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]

      • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a con-traceptive method.[2]

      • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use cont-raceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

      WHO USES CON-TRACEPTIVES?

      • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had int-ercourse have used at least one con-traceptive method.[2](and men?)

      • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)

      • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inte-rcourse; or are not se-xually active.[2]

      • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using con-traceptives.[2] (and men?)

      • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing con-traception.[2] (and men?)

      WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

      • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice con-traception use reversible methods, such as oral con-traceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

      FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

      Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

      Method Typical

      Pill (combined)........ 8.7
      Tubal sterilization... 0.7
      Male condom........ 17.4
      Vasectomy.............. 0.2

      Periodic abstinence 25.3 (RCC Approved)
      Calendar 9.0 (RCC Approved)
      Ovulation Method 3.0 (RCC Approved )
      Sympto-thermal 2.0 ( RCC Approved)
      Post-ovulation 1.0 (RCC Approved)

      No method 85.0" (RCC approved and important for those women wanting to get pregnant)

      (Abstinence).............. 0 (RCC approved)

      (Masturbation) 0

      More facts about contraceptives from

      guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

      "CON-TRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

      Cont-raceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002

      Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users
      Pill ... 11,661 ,..........30.6
      Male condom....... 6,841 18.0 "

      i.e.
      The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).

      i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
      x 62 million (# child bearing women)
      x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
      x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

      1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies
      during the first year of pill use.

      For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

      1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

      The Gut-tmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
      (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

      o Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • TCS

      Reality, too long, didn't read.
      Keep your answers short you putz.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • ......

      never read reality posts hit report abuse on them all and move on

      February 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  18. *facepalm*

    If Catholics want to live by their own set of rules and laws, they are free to go an form their own theocracy. I'm sure the Vatican would be thrilled.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • ron

      Blah, blah, blah! Who needs birth control. Why would the Catholic Church want to waste money on birth control? Everybody knows little boys can't get pregnant!!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  19. J.W

    I thought that more Catholics than that would say they were opposed to it actually. I am surprised it was almost 50/50.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Abm

      I work with 4 Catholics. Only one of them even knows about the no birth control rule, hence she has 4 kids. The other 3 never heard the rule and flat out denied that the church had a rule against it. I (a non-catholic) had to show them on the official Catholic web site. BTW these 3 swear they are "good" Catholics. Go figure.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  20. momoya

    It's not an "assault on religion" for the government to demand that medical organizations provide people with the medicine that THEY decide to take. Birth control and abortion is common practice; the hospitals can provide "sinner buildings" where the doctors and staff who don't have a moral problem providing such services can do so and keep the hospital in compliance with the law. .

    February 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • TCS

      The issue is that these hospitals are founded and helped funded by the Church. If you go to a Catholic hospital, they will not provide anyone with an abortion or birth control. They have to go to another hospital for that. I highly doubt that they would set up 'sinner buildings' that would be considered 'separate' from the hospital where they would do abortions/contraceptives.
      That kind of moronic thinking is the same as stepping in dog crap and claiming that, 'well, the other part of the shoe is clean.' It is also the same stupid thinking that Planned Parenthood gets hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money, but claim that none of it is used to fund abortions.
      If there is crap on one part of it, you just assume that crap is on all of it.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • momoya

      It doesn't matter that the hospitals are founded and funded by the church. They are hospitals. That's enough. The government should not let a hospital stay in business if it cannot provide the medical care that patients need and would like to have.

      I'm not going to call your thinking "moronic" because I think that's a lazy tactic for anybody to use, but I will address your "crap" analogy. Yes, it's ridiculous to claim "the other side of the shoe is clean." The hospitals have both shoes in crap when they refuse to give normal medical care to those that desire it. If hospitals want to stand around in crap, then they shouldn't be hospitals–the government should shut them down. My idea to have "sinner wards" was based on the assumption that the hospitals would rather have those then be shut down. On second thought, that's a bad idea; they should simply be shut down.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.