Editor's Note: Karalen L. Morthole is a senior majoring in political science at Catholic University of America.
By Karalen L. Morthole, Special to CNN
I have been a Catholic my whole life. Baptized as a baby and confirmed in the seventh grade, I attended weekly catechism classes and received a Jesuit education. Never once did the opinion of the church on a person's use of contraceptives surface.
In high school, I was prescribed birth control to balance my hormones. I suffered from terrible mood swings that had negative effects on my relationship with my family and got me into trouble with teachers. I also experienced menstrual cramps so painful as to be debilitating; sometimes, they left me unable to move.
My mother, a devout Catholic, had no problem with my taking birth control, because she recognized the dramatic effects this simple medication had on my life. Birth control gave me a new, healthy and balanced way to live. As a 22-year-old woman, I am able to think more rationally because of birth control.
By Eric Marrapodi CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN) – As word trickled out of a White House compromise with Catholic groups on its rule around contraception coverage on Friday morning, administration officials took to the phones to sell the plan to religious leaders across the spectrum.
Catholic officials say President Obama called New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, to explain the revised policy, which exempts religiously affiliated universities and hospitals for paying for no cost contraception for their employees but requires insurers to offer such coverage for for free to women who work at such institutions.
Dolan responded to the White House plan Friday afternoon in a statement saying the move was, "a first step in the right direction."
“While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them," he added.
But other bishops were far more critical. "I think he's punting, just kicking the can down the road," Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski told CNN. "He's hasn't really addressed our concerns. I think the only thing to do is... to take back the whole thing."
By Alan Silverleib, CNN
President Barack Obama announced a compromise Friday in the dispute over whether to require full contraception insurance coverage for female employees at religiously affiliated institutions.
Under the new plan, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions.
Female employees at churches themselves will have no guarantee of any contraception coverage - a continuation of current law.
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN)–The battle over who should pay for contraceptives and how has been framed in the news media as Catholics versus the Obama White House.
When the administration announced religiously affiliated institutions would have a year to comply with a new policy that require them to pay for contraceptives through insurance plans, it was Catholic bishops who led the criticism, firing off angry letters to be read at Mass in parishes nationwide. That campaign appears to have worked, with the White House signaling it will announce a compromise on its rule on Friday.
But in pushing the White House to change the rule, Catholics were joined by a politically formidable religious group that's OK with contraception but increasingly sensitive about what they say is a government bent on secularizing the public square: evangelical Christians.
"I'm not a Catholic," California megachurch pastor Rick Warren wrote on his Twitter feed Tuesday, "but I stand in 100% solidarity with my brothers & sisters to practice their belief against govt pressure."
By Dan Merica, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: Contraception controversy consumes D.C., campaign
Congressional Democrats and Republicans escalated their rhetorical war Thursday over a pending federal rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women – one day after hints emerged of a possible compromise between the White House and conservative religious critics.
A same-sex marriage bill passed the Washington House and Senate. Rev. Mike Denton approves.
CNN: Opinion: Why I support gay marriage in Washington
Rev. Mike Denton writes that, “Fifteen years ago, gay and lesbian folks were still stepping gingerly around the words “wedding” or “marriage.” It didn’t feel safe and just didn’t seem to be worth the fight so words like “union service” or “commitment service” were used instead.” In a piece special to CNN, Denton writes why he gay marriage legislation in Washington state.
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.