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Religious exemptions grow in contraception mandate
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says "the president's policy respects religious liberty."
March 16th, 2012
08:00 PM ET

Religious exemptions grow in contraception mandate

By Eric Marrapodi and Jessica Yellin, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration announced late Friday two new steps in a controversial contraception mandate.

In an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking posted in the Federal Register, the administration offered several policy suggestions that would require the administrator of the insurance policy, not the religious institution or the insurer, to pay for contraception coverage.

The Obama administration also announced a new final rule on student health plans that effectively applies the contraception accommodation to religiously affiliated universities. This means students at religious universities that have moral objections can get contraception for free through their insurance providers. Schools have a one-year grace period before complying.

For religious institutions that provide their own insurance, the mandate opened the door to Americans to "formally comment on ideas for implementing this policy."

Sandra Fluke, the student who was at the center of a firestorm over contraception rules at her religious university, applauded the decision, saying in a statement, "I am very pleased that under these policies all women, regardless of what school they attend or where they work, will soon have affordable access to contraception."

The original mandate, enforcing part of the Affordable Care Act, included that insurers must provide, at no cost, all FDA-approved forms of contraception. Houses of worship have been exempted from the start, but now the administration is widening those exemptions to include other religiously affiliated groups.

Religious groups across a wide spectrum denounced the mandate, saying it infringed on their religious liberty. Most vocal was the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"The bishops will begin analyzing it immediately, but now is too early to know what it says," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"I'm surprised such important information would be announced late Friday on St. Patrick's Day weekend as we prepare for the fourth Sunday of Lent," she added.

The new regulation prohibits lifetime limits on contraception and covers preventive services without cost-sharing for students on a college or university health plan. The new rule outlines that religious colleges and universities will not have to "pay, arrange, or refer" contraceptives for students, according to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services.

"The president's policy respects religious liberty and makes free preventive services available to women," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the statement. "Today's announcement is the next step toward fulfilling that commitment."

The White House held a Friday afternoon conference call with stakeholders outlining the new plan, according to a Democratic activist who participated in the call but was not authorized to speak on the record about it.

Joshua DuBois, the director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, led the call, and Catholic health care and advocacy groups joined, the source said.

The extension of the religious exemption to colleges had been a major point of contention for many religious institutions.

"This is something the bishops should be happy about," said Steve Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America.

"I think the take-away from this is, it's clear the administration is serious about its efforts to address the concerns of the Catholic bishops and others as it relates to the insurance mandate."

In an effort to address concerns of religious groups that self-insure, the new rules suggest creating "an exemption for group health plans established or maintained by certain religious employers."

The policy continued with a suggested four-part definition of who might qualify. It says the group must have religious values as its purpose, primarily employ people who share those religious beliefs, primarily serve persons who share those beliefs and be a nonprofit organization.

When the preliminary rule for the contraception mandate was released last year, it had a different four-point definition for a religious organization. Religious colleges and charities were all but written out of the definition, so they would not be included in the exemption.

According to the source, the administration said it does not want the new definition used as a precedent for future policies and regulation, the source said.

"It should ameliorate some of their concerns," Schneck said of the bishops.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Conference of Bishops said in a statement that the fight over the contraception mandate was strictly a religious liberty issue.

"One particular religious freedom issue demands our immediate attention: the now-finalized rule of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would force virtually all private health plans nationwide to provide coverage of sterilization and contraception-including abortifacient drugs-subject to an exemption for 'religious employers' that is arbitrarily narrow, and to an unspecified and dubious future 'accommodation' for other religious organizations that are denied the exemption," the statement read.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (695 Responses)
  1. catholic engineer

    Love them or hate them, the US bishops are different from the usual D.C. politicos. The bishops will not trade in the millenia-old teachings of the church to pander to anyone. How different from our current Primier and his "Catholic" stoolies. This could be very bad news for Obarry. Healthcare in this country has been a mess for decades. When Catholic hospitals and social service agencies begin to shut down en masse, who's he gonna call,? Hillary? What's he going to do?
    He got the Catholic vote and now has spit in their faces. Once he's got the womens' vote with this latest ruse, what's he going to do to women?

    March 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • J.W

      You sound like you are rambling a little bit. The original mandate I thought was fair, and then there was a compromise, and there may be more compromises. Unfortunately scare tactics like this will probably work on a lot of people though.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  2. SPA Knight

    Sebilius is a disgrace to Catholics. She should issue a formal statement denouncing her faith or perhaps her actions speak louder than words. Other religions are next!

    March 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • J.W

      What do you mean other religions are next? What other religions have an exemption?

      March 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Primewonk

      She was appointed as HHS secretary. As such she falls under the provisions of Article VI, Section 3 of the consti.tution.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      JW – Oh let me think...how about the Amish? Are we going to mandate them to insure their employees and then have them pay for contraception? No of course not because they are exempt...for now. Religious freedom applies to them because they are not Catholic.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove it, you lying sack of crap.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Tom Tom – It seems to me that the only contribution you can offer on this blog is name calling. Consider moving beyond your schoolyard tactics and expanding your vocabulary beyond the use of expletives in each of your posts and perhaps you'll be taken seriously but I doubt it.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Kalashnikova

      I've got a better idea: Treat all women-hating, psychotic, anti-democracy cults the same.

      The Catholic Church only differs from radical Islam in its victims: Wahabbists like to pick on grown women; the RCC likes to molest little boys.

      Neither one of them should have any say in women's healthcare... we should be listening to actual doctors instead of sociopathic old men.

      September 15, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  3. just sayin

    Yeah
    Wrong Bush.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • YeahRight

      Wow do you have poor reading comprehension skills or what, no wonder you're an idiot.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  4. Brother Maynard

    Proof that 'Believers' really don't
    So I've always been told that after you die you go to a place where ( if you have accepted Jesus as your personal saviour ) there is no pain and ( after ) life is beautiful and glorious in safety of god's world. Christians espcially espouse / preach / believe is true.
    So if a Christian goes to the Doctor and the Doctor says " You have a life threating disease. You have 2 choices. 1) start treatment immediately ... if you do this your chances of living a normal life are 95%. 2) Do nothing and you'll be dead in 6 months" Why, if it is true that the afterlife is more glorious and pain-free than this one, would ANY believer choose option number 1? You have an additional 6 months to REALLY cement your place in heaven and get all of your affairs ( will's; life insurance policies; trust funds etc ) in order. If it is god's will that you contracted this life threatening disease ... why woould you defy it with a medical procedure?

    March 19, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • just sayin

      All healing is God given. Science and medicine have been advanced because God granted knowledge that was asked for in prayer.There is no conflict between God and doctors unless a person chooses to put conflict there.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Just Sayin' sez
      "All healing is God given. Science and medicine have been advanced because God granted knowledge that was asked for in prayer.There is no conflict between God and doctors unless a person chooses to put conflict there"
      AH ... so that means:
      1) Your god is a sadistic god. He puts you through anguish stress and worry just to save you through some other means.
      ** OR **
      2) Believers are masochists. They would rather stay in the world ... a world of pain and suffering - as it compares to heaven - than to be received by their god in heaven
      ** OR **
      3) Believers really don't believe

      BTW ... you didn't answer my question of "WHY" believers choose medical treatment. You just gave an hypothesis ( unproven at that ) that god gave us science and medicine. Which begs the question ... Why didn't god give us penicilin, kemotheropy, anti-biotics and viagra 1000 years ago ? Seems strange that man did all the work ... and god gets all the credit.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ just sayin – so when god says that the way to treat leprosy is to use a live bird to sprinkle the blood of a dead bird around a house – he was kidding? He really meant to say that you should use a multi-drug therapy?

      And when god treats epilepsy by driving "demons" into hers of wild pigs and sends them over a cliff, he actually meant to use anti-epileptic drugs?

      Sorry, but your god was just as terrible at medicine as he was at evolution, biology, geology, paleontology, anthropology, archeology, astronomy, cosmology, physics,, chemistry, and math.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Kalashnikova

      So when a woman has an abortion to safe her life, or takes synthetic female hormones to treat endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or to prevent unwanted pregnancy, that's all sacred and god-given too? Awesome.

      I hope you'll join me in telling the sociopathic Pope Sidious to GTFO and DIAF, then.

      September 15, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  5. IHAW

    When is the last time one of you men went into a drug store – Wallgreen's, CVS, WalMart – and took a brief look. What's the first thing you notice? About four isles dedicated to womens' beauty supplies. Hot curlers, lipstick, skin softener, herbal shampoos, conditioneres, fingernail polish, remover for same, body washes, eye liner, masquera, false eye lashes, false fingernails, base, rouge, ad infinitum. How many billions of dollars are spent every year on this stuff. How much does the average hiar job cost for the average woman?
    And the rest of us have to pay for their contraceptives.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Primewonk

      Were does it say you have to pay for their contraceptives?

      March 19, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • myweightinwords

      1) No one is asking you to pay for contraception.
      2) Women who can't afford to pay for their contraception aren't spending hundreds of dollars on those things you're talking about.

      This isn't about a moral decision or religious freedom or even about money. It is about equality and equal access. It is about providing equal medical care to all women regardless of religion or economic standing. It is about ensuring a woman's choice regarding her body.

      If you object to insurance covering birth control, I assume you also object to it covering Viagra and Cialis?

      March 19, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Myweighinwords – I object to insurance paying for both contraception and viagra. Neither are healthcare and if you want them, pay for them or abstain. That's freedom of choice!

      March 19, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • GodPot

      I object to having things in my ass, should I not have to help pitch in for your colonoscopy? I believe cancer is caused by sin so I don't want any of my tax dollars going to heal sinners. I think Children are from the devil, so I shouldn't be required to pay any taxes to support hospitals that have a maternity ward or help during births.

      Okay, I don't really believe those things, but maybe, JUST MAYBE you morons will get the point, we don't care how you FEEL, shut up and pay your taxes like everyone else!! I really do hate war and wish that not a cent of my taxes were used to buy or make weapons or fund troops who mass murder family's in foreign countries, but I don't have much choice do I because it's part of our national defense that I do appreciate, so I pay my damn taxes like real American's should.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Primewonk

      And I object to paying for Catholics to use statins to control hyperlipidemia, and for Baptists to use glipizides to treat AODM. These are disorders largely caused by poor lifestyle choices. I view it as a sign from god that these folks should be vegans. If you want to thumb your nose at god and keep eating bacon cheeseburgers, fine. Just pay for your own pills, or better yet, just be happy that you're going home to Jesus sooner.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Kalashnikova

      Sounds like someone has a serious case of beauty-envy. Get over yourself and become a drag queen already, if you're so jealous of women's make-up.

      I don't know why you think ALL women buy that crap; I haven't worn lipstick in a decade and I have never curled or ironed my hair once. Oh, wait, I use nail polish sometimes. That means I don't deserve to have birth control! Even if I'm not on the pill for birth control! Yeah, maybe my doctor prescribed it, but what does HE know... he's just a highly-educated professional in the field of human health.

      September 15, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things .

    March 19, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!

      March 19, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      "A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. "
      Jesus, read history. You will find that from St. Peter to the Christians under Stalin, millions of followers of Jesus have WILLINGLY gone to jails, gulags, torture rather than renounce their faith.
      To clarity your own thinking for you: Your're an atheist, right? All the physical faults of the human body are merely failings of evolution. And that's all there is, isn't there? If you truly believe your beliefs, why be psychotic against religion.

      I'll explain it to you again. Faith is an interior quality which atheists do not possess. Prayer emmanates from that quality. If changes the one who prays. Scientific studies perporting to verity this are worthless because interior quality cannot be measured in a lab. Jesus, not everything that you cannot understand is a lie.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @PrimeNumber
      Faith is not a virtue.
      It is the willing supression of rational though.
      By its very nature, it is not quantifiable because it requires the suspension of disbelief.
      It's like new agers working with their Auras.
      There is no logical answer to an emotional argument – and faith is pure emotion, untainted by the cold, hard facts.
      One may bask by the warm fire of faith or live in the bleak uncertainty of reason – but one cannot have both.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • captain america

      Keep your bull sh it in canada doc v, here we got no use for atheists. There's your sign

      March 19, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Actually CA, Atheists are welcomed in your SECULAR country!! Your Founding Fathers made the consti.tution, not you and they were not christard...they were Deists.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • just sayin

      President George H W Bush said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be considered a citizen of the USA. We are one nation under God. If that is how a President views a home grown idiot, what use is there for a foreign one? Our freedoms and laws are for us, not you.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Primewonk

      just sayin wrote, " President George H W Bush said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be considered a citizen of the USA. We are one nation under God."

      Just more evidence that the Bush's were ignorant about the consti.tution.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      You can not change the consti.tution you dolt. It does not matter what Bush said. He was also taken to task on that and proven wrong by many people. Bush was as big of an idiot as you are!! You are a frightened insecure little child and thus you cling to the hope that religion is true. You do not give a damn what the actual truth is because reality scares you. Look at the mess your country is in!! The republitards are a circus act...they'll never make the USA a christard nation, the good Atheists and other religions won't allow it and for it to be a christard nation they will need the vote to be on their side...not ever going to happen.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Yeahright

      "President George H W Bush said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be considered a citizen of the USA. We are one nation under God. If that is how a President views a home grown idiot, what use is there for a foreign one? Our freedoms and laws are for us, not you."

      That's why George W lied to the American people and got them into a war that killed thousands of innocent lives. You're a complete idiot for trying to use that line.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert
      "I will never apologize for the United States of America - I don't care what the facts are."
      – George HW Bush

      You and the Bushes won't let a pesky little thing like reality get in the way of your xenophobic chest-beating, will you?

      March 19, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • captain america

      True Americans and that is the overwhelming majority of US, don't give a sh it about foreign opinion and will not be needing a canadian loser atheist doing our thinking for us. Go screw up canada doc we don't want ya. There's your sign

      March 19, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • just sayin

      @yeahright
      You got the wrong Bush

      March 19, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Oh but CA, you do need us...in case you missed it, we hold the key to your countries oil supply right now...suck it up loser, we're here to stay.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Yeahright

      "You got the wrong Bush"

      You have poor reading comprehension skills.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • just sayin

      I quote Bush 41 and you respond with Bush 43. Who has the skill problem ?

      March 19, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Yeahright

      "I quote Bush 41 and you respond with Bush 43. Who has the skill problem ?"

      No kidding idiot – that is what I said, DUH! Got to love the fact you support something that spreads hate and stupidity in this country. What a moron.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • BRC

      @Captain America,
      I'll put myself against just about anyone in the true American category, and I am an atheist; who does recognize the importance of Doc and other's contributions, and ANY contribution to a discussion made by an intelligent source. There I've invited them into the conversation, you can hold onto your sign for later.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • GodPot

      "Go screw up canada doc we don't want ya. " Who is this "we" crap, I'm an American and Cap here does not represent us, in fact, series writer Ed Brubaker said "What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on and giving speeches on the street corner against the George W. Bush administration"

      March 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I must disagree. I'd like Cap to be outstanding in his field. Really, out standing in his field. Way out.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  7. MargaretW

    This whole idiotic argument is not about religion. It's about power, political power.
    The function of a religious organization is to provide a spiritual life and a community for its members, not to dictate to the rest of the world.
    The law should be amended to remove the entire healthcare/insurance function away from employers and into the hands of individuals, whether employed or not. That would level the playing field, and prevent employers or insurance companies from dictating guidelines based on religious values not held by the public at large.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • SPA Knight

      MargaretW – I agree that healthcare insurance should no longer be an employer's responsibility since it is not a benefit of employment nor a right. If an individual wants to buy insurance that covers their contraception, they should be willing to pay for it and leave the employers out of it.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And of course, YOU pay for YOUR own health insurance, don't you? Because you are self-employed, aren't you?

      Do you think your opinion matters here? Get a clue, you witless wonders, no one cares what you think about an issue that has no effect on you whatsoever.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Kalashnikova

      Tom Tom, I think I love you. ❤

      September 15, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  8. dreamer96

    How many parents of very sick children have refuse any medical treatment and used prayers instead, and then the child dies..and then the parents are arrested...that has happened several times...

    March 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • errr

      Refering to cults as main stream christianity makes you sound ignorant and desperate. I have never met a Christian who when sick does not make a v line for the Doc's. And just because some one says they are christian doesnt make it so. If I were to go house to house around my neighborhood and take a poll more than half would profess to be Christians even though I know better. Try some other dooms day straw grasping why dont you.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      Cults? Oh, any religion that isn't MY religion is a cult, right?

      March 19, 2012 at 7:03 am |
  9. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  10. Debbie

    Livid at religious organizations and politicians claiming to be Christians that they follow Christ but then they use Christ for political gain. Sad that soooo many Christians are being deceived big time by groups that claim they are Christians. IF they want to be Christians and follow Christ why are these leaders not following Sermon on the Mount? Using coercive actions that remove freewill actions. You remove freewill actions and you have removed Christ and freedom. Give Ceasar (politics) what is his and give Christ what is his. Religious organizations in the USA have overstepped their bounds. IF America is not careful she will be a theocratic state and not a representative democratic republic. Once the power is given away, once your free will choice is given away it is near impossible to gain it back.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Common Sense

      Yea your right the Christian Coalition for a prime example of this, Ralph Reid is a very evil man

      March 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Susie

      No dear the government has overstepped its bounds. It should have never tried to control what kind of insurance private business supplies to employees.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • errr

      Maybe if they didnt see anti God signs popping up everywhere they wouldnt care. Most Christians I know were fat and content sitting on the couch till you Atheist started stirring the pot. Good luck come November, Ive never seen them so wound up.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • AGuest9

      Yeah, Susie, to hell with trying to ensure that everybody gets the same coverage. It started with "them cripples", and now look! They want to make sure EVERYBODY has access to healthcare.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • AGuest9

      errr, if you want to talk about kicking a hornet's nest, the opening volley was made by certain members of the Dover School District. Then, people all across the country said "Being fourth in the world isn't so bad, let's ensure that our children are scientifically illiterate, can't compete with foreigners in THEIR OWN UNIVERSITIES, and heck, if fourth ain't so bad, then being last in the world ain't much worse. The preacher said so!"

      March 19, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • karen

      Ceasar is for the first time forcing people to go against their religious beliefs.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:28 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things,

    March 18, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • AGuest9

      Lithium takes care of your ramblings. Ask for it by name.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!! .. ....

      March 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Common Sense

      instead of all the prayer and god mongering why not follow the simple 2 ideas that Jesus gave u. Like peace and love?? try it please you will find life alot easier

      March 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Jesus

      More proof prayer doesn't work. An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      March 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      Hearsay is not proof. You are without credibility, veracity and substance sorry unacceptable commentary.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Susie

      Wow Jesu.. you found 4 studies out of 100s that support your belief system. Go look up margin of error. Its usually about 5%. Yes, your studies were most likely the ones in the false negative group.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • AGuest9

      Learn statistics, Susie. The margin of error is PER study. Even more, you're going to dismiss a large, longitudinal study conducted by Harvard? Considering that their largest study is the gold standard in American medicine.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • graytiger

      @Susie

      4 out of 100s!!! I am very curious Susie to know which studies you are talking about. Studies that prove that prayer really changes things, beyond being the mental equivalent of an aspirin.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  12. God's(son)

    These so called Christians don't have a clue, Jesus' teachings seem to be interpreted in whatever way each sec wants, they manipulate his words to benefit their will. Jesus taught us to love everyone, he fought for the poor, the sinners, the sick, he told us not to judge anyone, it's better to give than to receive.

    March 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>"Jesus taught us to love everyone, he fought for the poor, the sinners, the sick, he told us not to judge anyone, it's better to give than to receive."

      While I agree with your interpretation, what makes your view of Jesus message and teachings more correct than those you are attempting to focus on? Your argument is that they are wrong because they interpret the scripture different than you, which more than likely they are saying about your view.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Susie

      You forgot the repentance part...most people do because the rest is easy, repentance isn't "Go and sin no more" said Jesus to the woman being stoned.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  13. Enuffalready

    Sister Mary Ann Walsh: so now the govt. has to time announcements so that they don't conflict with your religious holidays or annual rituals? The eve of the fourth Sunday of Lent–are announcements on the other three OK, are should we avoid all four? And how many saints' days we must respect lest we persecute you unawares?

    March 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • AGuest9

      The government already respects December 25th. That's more than enough.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  14. Nancys44

    It always seems to me when the anti-suffrage members of the Government criticize militancy in women that it is very like beasts of prey reproaching gentler animals who turn in desperate resistance when at the point of death. -Emmeline Pankhurst
    Religion without humanity is poor human stuff. -Sojourner Truth

    March 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  15. Common Sense

    Doesn't it make sense that insurance companies prefer to cover the cost of contraception instead of the more expensive cost of a pregnancy and the added costs associated with an infant? See what happens to insurance premiums when the birthrate skyrockets. And think of what will happen to all the unwanted or unprepared for babies.

    March 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Better start building more prisons.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  16. Reality

    Condoms are available over the counter. Make the Pill available over the counter and there will be no more debate. Planned Parenthood can offer deep discounts for those who say they cannot afford said protection.

    Or better yet, put a pack of condoms and a box of Pills in cereal boxes. Unfortunately, that would not ensure the condoms and/or Pills would be used. Based on Guttmacher Insti-tute data, said condoms and/or Pills are currently not being used as they should. (one million abortions/yr and 19 million cases of S-TDs/yr because either the daily Pill was not taken or a condom stayed in the pocket.)

    Maybe selling Pill-enriched sodas??? Hmmm?

    Condom-fitted briefs for men?? Hmmm?

    The door is open for other ideas!!!

    March 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Big Island

      Good suggestions, lets target the men for a change.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/15/study-a-curious-link-between-birth-control-pills-and-prostate-cancer/

      March 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why do you think women want to take the pill? Has it not occurred to you that it's because THEY are the ones who'll bear the risks to their lives and health if they become pregnant? They can't trust the men they're having s3x with to be responsible and use a con dom. The consequences for HIM are pretty much non-existent if she gets pregnant. He's not the one who'll have to carry a pregnancy or give birth. He can take a powder and leave. Women use the pill because they know they can't trust men to be responsible when there's no real consequence if the guys don't follow through.

      And guys don't like using con doms–therefore, some to them simply won't bother.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Ms. Universe

      That is why abstinence is very important!

      March 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Don't forget mono or dual masturbation!!!

      Then there are these:

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      1.One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)

      2.Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)

      3.The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)

      4.Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)

      5.IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)

      6.Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)

      7.Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)

      8.Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Some not amendable to cereal box distribution 🙂

      March 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Morons, do you not get it? Single women aren't THE ONLY ONES WHO USE CONTRACEPTION. The idiot who suggests 'abstinence' ought to get a brain-scan done just to see if there's anything inside its skull. If you are married and male, do tell us it'll be just fine with you if we say nix to every little request you make for s3x.

      Go right ahead.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • hey

      only s l u t s sleep around 😉

      March 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • PGA

      And some people are proud about their promiscuous behavior ?!?!? who knows what STD's they are transmitting.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Next!

      There sure are a lot of uptight, sexually repressed Christians on this blog. Then again, Reality is very hung up about sex as well, and like a conservative, loves telling other people how to live their personal life and what they can't do with their bodies.

      March 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Jim

      Unscrupulous s e x is very liberating!

      March 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of contraception and STD control from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x:

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : 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 (perfect use and typical rates). Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      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.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"And guys don't like using con doms–therefore, some to them simply won't bother."

      So, what happened to the Woman's right to chose who she shares her bed with? Your argument is that you cannot trust the guy, so what is it in your life that a person whom you do not trust you would have s'ex with?

      TomTom, sounds like the bigger moron is the woman who is sleeping with the guys who would not love them or be honorable enough to take care of a possible offspring.

      >>>"when there's no real consequence if the guys don't follow through. "

      Yeah, to bad there is no legal term ....such as "Child Support" ... or words like "wage garnishments".....

      If a girl can trust a guy for night , then it should be a guy she can trust for the rest of her life.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look, Mark the Piddler is yapping again. Do you REALLY think married women ALL trust their husbands to wear a con dom?

      Married women take the pill for a variety of reasons, but if you think that's not one of them, you're daft.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Piddler writes: "what is it in your life that a person whom you do not trust you would have s'ex with?"

      Didn't you say you were working on a college degree?

      March 18, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • AGuest9

      Reality, if people haven't realized that a vector of transmission can occur through the lining of one orifice and that it "magically" can't occur through another, this is simple natural selection at work.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi TomTom.

      Your reasoning is still flawed, in that I can understand a woman and man using contraception to avoid disease but at the same time you brought up trust and then went on a male bashing spree. Now you are name calling and once again looking silly. I can name call too, but then it would be two nuts screaming at each other. But, you can keep with the name calling... those feelings died long ago.

      You were the one that brought up that a man might not be there for you if a pregnancy occurs. This would cause rational folks to question what type of men you are choosing to lie down in bed with. If you are one night standing, then oh well, yah get what you get.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You moron, what color is the sky in your world? Do you really not know how many times men run out on women they're married to and then refuse to pay child support?

      You will never get it. You will never have to face an unintended pregnancy. It isn't up to you to decide what someone who COULD face one should do to prevent it. And it isn't up to you to decide what she should do if one occurs.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"You moron, what color is the sky in your world? Do you really not know how many times men run out on women they're married to and then refuse to pay child support? "

      TomTom, what do you want me to say... Again the problem is who a woman chooses to lay down with. In the African American community we are seeing that "blame the man" argument finally starting to turn because more and more folks are questioning the women who continue to find the men in the community that are more likely to leave them.

      See TomTom, to me and a bunch of males in society there would be no "run out".... its a thing that many would rather die than do. Can you fault all men totally when some women only desire guys that are more likely to "run out".

      March 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't give two craps what you think you or anyone else 'would do' in any given situation. The fact is that men DO have the ability to leave. Women are the ones who must take responsibility for their own bodies.They can't rely on a male to be responsible for preventing an unwanted pregnancy because he has far less incentive to do so-he isn't the one who's going to suffer. She is. The fact that you can't get that through your thick skull is unsurprising.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And it's "LIE DOWN", stupid. Jesus, how can anyone who is writing college papers not know that?

      March 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I do have to say that again, momoya's assessment of you was spot on. You're a dishonest little creep. Now you're attempting to blame the victim-women only get pregnant because they pick the wrong men. It's their own fault, according to you.

      Women take the pill for a variety of reasons, whether they're married or not. If you think that one of those reasons isn't that they can't depend on some man to be responsible for preventing a pregnancy HE WON'T HAVE TO CARRY.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Posted too soon: If you think that one of the reasons isn't the fact that women know what the consequences can be if they don't protect themselves, you are even dimmer than you first appeared.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mark the Moron is still trying to figure out the "lay/lie" thingy.

      That should take about, oh, 5 months or so.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!! ... ..

      March 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Just trollin, again, eh?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      March 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • lets be real

      Prayer is nothing but wishing for god to change his divine plan to suit your own needs. How selfish of you. If I were god, I'd be offended.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Progressive

      March 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer brings wealth
      Prosperity

      March 18, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • AGuest9

      What a joke.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Jesus

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      March 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder if they've looked at records from further back and included other injuries that didn't result in death. I mean, that would explain why Keith, GodsPoop, and just sayin are brain-damaged. It's not their fault; their parents neglected to give them medical treatment.

      Thus we have idiots.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  18. TheRationale

    Why on earth is it up to your employer to say whether you can be covered for birth control? Religion is such a plague...

    March 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • AGuest9

      The foot in the door. Next it will be cancer. Why? It's too expensive. It's easier to "find their performance unacceptable", or "that they are missing too much time".

      March 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  19. cashmeremafia

    They should allow insurance companies to charge a copay – it would reduce the likelihood of abuse (casual s*x) if you have more "skin in the game" so to speak. I have to pay a $10 copay for doctor visits/prescriptions, it's only fair they do too.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • TheRationale

      No, people are going to want to do things you don't approve of. You have no right to tell other people how to conduct their s.ex lives. Whether you deem their actions "abusive" is irrelevant. Denying easy access to birth control is a recipe for more abortions, more STD's, and more teen pregnancies.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • AGuest9

      What??? "likelihood of abuse (casual s*x)"

      You don't take the pill one day because you are going to have se.x, then not another for a day or two.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When someone like cashmeremafia posts, I always wonder: how does anyone that stupid earn enough income to afford a computer?

      March 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  20. TR6

    Religion is a volume business. Its best profits and greatest power base come from poor, unloved, miserable and downtrodden masses. Encouraging over population, unwanted children and illiteracy is just good business for religion. For example look at how well Santorum is doing in the south

    March 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Skeptical

      Precisely correct!

      March 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Absolutely!

      March 17, 2012 at 3:34 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.