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.
About this blog
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.
The Catholics should go back to helping Nazi's escape justice for their war crimes, something the Catholics excelled at.
Yeah because when did we ever do that. What you meant to say is that we help the Jewish people escape the Nazi regime. Just for your information the Nazis didn't like Catholics either, thousands of priests and religious were executed because they refused to bow down to a corrupt tyrannical government.
Rehashed, unfounded claim against the Catholic Church. If you are a Christian, you just broke the, "thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor" commandment – just so you know.
Josh, you really need to go into your history books again. Sorry.
I need to look at my history again. Why don't you read the story of st. Maximilian Kobe and tell me the Catholic Church was out to save Nazi war criminals.
Women's health is the issue not religion. Let no man forget that at their peril.
What do contrceptives have to do with a women's health? Are you telling me they will die if they don't get them? Are you telling me if they want this elective item they couldn't pay for it themself? Are you telling me some liberal group couldn't provide this "vital medical service" for free?
Forcing people to accept the murder of millions of babies is the issue.
Edward, you shouldn't make comments about subjects you know nothing about. Contraceptives are used for other purposes as well. Ask any reputable doctor.
If this law is not changed, Catholic Charities should just shut down all the hospitals, clinics, adaption services, soup kitchens, food banks, etc. and let the government take over. That way the government can do what it wants and the Catholic Church does not have to compromise it's principles. Then the government will have complete control over providing birth control pills as a medicial necessity and a consitutional right. If the government is agianst what you do time to let them pay for it and do it.
I think it is more the opposite here. If churches want to to run hospitals, schools and other businesses that, but for their religious affiliation, are no different than any other business, it should comply with the laws that govern them all. If it wants to remain private, it should remain private. That means practicing your own beliefs with your own dime. The irony here is that the church's bigger problem is not with the government but with its own members, many of whom don't buy into the very tenets about family planning that is in the middle of this controversy.
Please do. Shutdown all the hospitals and all care facilities! See how much your religious lot would like to advocate full time prayers to save you then.
I bet it'll be just a short shutdown – like for 20 minutes before you morons decide that your useless prayers and god will never work for you.
The problem is we are they.
The law doesn't say that the Catholic hospitals have to give out birth control pills or povide any of the services they find against their religion. It just says that the medical insurance coverage they provide for their employees must include these services. Not all of their employees are necessarily of the same religion, or even if they are, view things exactly the way their religion does. And remember, just because the coverage is there and available doesn't mean they have to actually use it. Not providing the coverage could mean that an employee doesn't receive the "best care available" in a crisis situation.
If they shut down Catholic Charities they would be in compliance with the law and their beliefs. The poor would suffer because a majority of the Catholic Charity services go to the poor. No problem – the government will take over and then they can do whatever they want and pay for whatever they want. Well at least until we become like Greece and at that point all will miss the Catholic Charities.
maggie, the problem is that the "law" here is itself illegal. Please review the First Amendment. Thanks.
I'm confused. Why are people upset at all? They're just trying to mandate that birth control is covered. It's not like they're forcing Catholics to TAKE IT.
You just don't understand that if you are forcing Catholic Charities to pay for something they do not believe in you are in effect forcing them to provide services they don't believe in. They cannot in good conscience say it is now O.K. since the government forced me to do it. Like other have said, it would be the same as the government mandating that MADD must provide beer at it's meetings.
Therein lies a very good point. Forget the fact that 98% of Catholic women apparently already practice some form of family planning and don't bother with these tenets to begin with. As many have already pointed out, no one is asking the church and its businesses to compromise its beliefs by administering, issuing or providing these devices but rather, allowing for coverage in existing employee health insurance plans. I often think about Jehovah's Witnesses. Many know that blood transfusions are against their religious beliefs. could you imagine what would happen if they ran a hospital and refused to provide a much needed transfusion to a patient being treated there on religious grounds? We would be apoplectic about it.
Understand what you're trying to say Edward, but not the same thing.
Moreover, Edward, why aren't they up in arms about the state laws that are currently on the books that already have this mandate, some of the states with no exemptions for religion at all? Where was the outrage?
Exactly, he is not forcing anyone to take the pill. The Catholic church doesn't foot the bill for the children that were not meant to be conceived and are now on welfare. They don't support the little Catholic girls that get knocked up and end up on child support. My boyfriends family is Catholic and his sister was put on birth control by their Catholic mother when she was a teenager. There is nothing wrong with BC. It prevents abortions that everyone is also in an uproar about. You people can't have it both ways! Either give women the benefit of BC or allow them to get abortions when they need them. Republicans and Catholics are just in this to rule the world and they think EVERYONE thinks along the same lines as they do. In actuality it is the general public letting themselves be brainwashed by Republicans and Catholics. Wake up and get with the times! Religion doesn't rule the world anymore. Electronics and modern medicine do.
Actually they are. The Obama administration says that the Catholic Church will have to fund contraceptive medications and abortion inducing drug plans so that women can be have access to reproductive health. The problem with that is it is against our beliefs. Why should we pay for something we consider to be a sin. If they want those drugs they can pay for it themselves don't make the Church do it. Plus it violates our first amendment rights.
Josh, we're talking about insurance coverage here, not some bishop reaching into his budget.
Maggie it has nothing to do with budget costs or anything like that. The problem lies with the fact that the government is imposing its belief on us. The government has no bossiness imposing its morality on others. When you work for a Catholic organization you should take into account whether you believe its mission statement or not. It's not like we are forcing the entire country to believe like we do. We just don't want big daddy government telling us whats best. Is this a father knows best state ? The only people we are affecting our the organizations we run. If someone doesn't like that they can go work somewhere else there not slaves.
What is it with Edward and Josh? What do they not understand about a woman's right to necessary medical coverage. The President isn't asking them to write BC prescriptions or provide abortions, they are saying that their employees medical insurance should cover these health requirements should they be necessary. I bet the current medical coverage for catholic hospital employees covers the men for that "little blue pill". Whatever your religious beliefs you can't force everyone around you to adhere to them too. They have as much right to believe in Pro-Choice as you do Pro-Life. Nobody, but nobody, has the right to make a medical decision for someone else, including denying them needed coverage through employee insurance coverage.
horsepoop. Should we allow polygamy to mormons hiding behind their "religious rights"? Should we allow adults to marry 13 year old girls because some religion says its their protected right. Should we allow native Americans to drive around our neighborhoods freaking out under the influence of peyote because its their religious right. This is a slippery slope allowing religions to commit crimes or commit socially deleterious policies because of their religious rights. and they arent paying taxes, but they want to burden us taxpayers with their unwanted children
My former Catholic Religion still adheres to a medieval backward policy that creates unwanted children, suffering, and an eventual social, medial and tax burden to all American society. The federal government has the right to mandate policy on any religion if it is practicing a policy that harms society and creates at-risk children who eventually become drug-addicted, criminals.
Also there is a direct correlation between available contraception and economic and social prosperity. Thailand is a great example of that working. Whereas the Phillipines is a great example of a society that forbids contraception, and as a result the Phiilupines has one of the the worst population, poverty and food resource crises on the planet. They cant feed their massively growing poverty-stricken Catholic population.
the difference is between "allowing" people to do things and "forcing" people to do things.
It's a pretty important point. This country was founded on the presumption that you can live your life however you want to live it insofar as you do not impinge upon other folks' right to do the same.
That is the reason that Obamacare is so deeply unpopular (outside of the legislative crookery that enabled its passage): the bottom line is that it forces people to do things. At the end of the day, it is an imposition of power upon people. That translates into tyranny.
We are living in a very dangerous time. I fear that people don't see it. Every abuse of power by this man is etched in stone.
Well newt – your examples of some bizarre religious rules don't really relate to the religious laws forbidding contraception. Secular laws intending to protect persons and property should always take precedence over religious rules that do not (e.g. stoning, smoking, bigamy, etc.). A religion has the right to forbid specific objects and behavior (adultery, pork, shaving, contraception, abortion) whether its subjects follow these rules or not. So it all boils down to Freedom of Religion – is a religion permitted to forbid contraception, but then forced by the secular government to fund it for those who are employed by the religion or its extended organizations.
Dear Catholic Church –
As an American with certain God given rights, I wish to offer a trade:
Release a list of all the Archbishops, Bishops, and priests that molested their congregation, with a list of who was molested, as well as complete signed apologies from all the resulting offenders, and a signed confession by the Pope that these people will be charged in a criminal court for these crimes and will not ever be allowed to preach the word of God in a Catholic church, and then, MAYBE, I'll think you have a right to tell your followers they can't do with their bodies as they please. I find it repulsive that priests can do whatever they want to some kid's body, but a grown woman doesn't have that same right.
Wow. Unrelated but great point. And these are the same bishops who still think nuns are to be seen and not heard and that women can't be priests.
Sanotrum ... America's Ahmadinijad
Not yet, he isn't.
Right now, he's still an Ahmadinijad wannabe......and we need to keep it that way!
Birth control they should have had that back in his home land of Africa!~
Nice, a racist pig. What does that have to do with this discussion?
Or maybe, John.....they should have had it back in Europe.
See.....that kind of stupid talk can swing both ways.......
Basic care for humans > religious beliefs. The have access to contraception. So what? It's called an option. If the young woman wants to use it, then she can get it. If she doesn't believe in using them, then she won't.
OK....who gave YOU permission to interject good common sense into this issue???
I don't think abortion is considered "basic care." That's one thing these articles seem to leave out (not sure why?). Abortion coverage is required as well, apparently a "preventative service."
Geoffrey, many insurance companies cover more than a few 'elective' surgical procedures.......
I hope the Obama administration stands firm. If the Catholic hospitals don't want to follow the federal rules, they can stop accepting federal money. With 100% private financing they can do whatever they want.
Our dictator is the problem, not the church.
Right on – if they want the government to stay out of their business then don't accept federal funds and PAY YOUR TAXES like everyone else!
Jen.....even if the Catholic Church stops accepting federal $$$$ they'd STILL have to comply with this law, because......well......it's the law.
What they need to do is stop offering health insurance.......pay their employees another $500 to $800 per month......and let their employees go out and get their own health insurance.
Or.....they can simply comply with the law, and provide BULK health insurance to their employees for a lot less, and let their employees live their lives!
Actually I like that idea of having the employees go out and get their own insurance. However, I remember one time when I didnt have insurance at work, and I tried to get my own and no one would cover me. There should be some provision where the insurers have to provide coverage.
Wait a minute J.W.......are you talking about some sort of mandate to require insurance companies to cover people regardless as to any pre-existing condition?
Oh.....parish the thought!!!
Next thing you know, people will depmand universal and portable insurance, too!
Well if there is a law that everyone must have health insurance, what would someone do if every provider refused to cover them, like what happened to me for a period of time. I can understand charging more for a pre-existing condition, but shouldn't some coverage be available to everybody?
Which is why we should've had a Public Option.
how DARE the government discriminate against you by telling you not to discriminate against others!
I hate it when my government makes me do the right thing! ! ! !
I'm a catholic, and the church will get $0 from me, going forward, if they don't back off of this. The opinion of the catholic proletariat has not been represented by catholic aristocracy for hundreds of years now.
Interesting comment. From the comments I've seen, about as many feel as you as they do the opposite. "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. At the end of the day, women, Catholic or not, are not going to vote for someone who is interested in sending them back to the 17th century so no, I don't believe Obama is going to lose the Catholic vote unless they didn't vote for him the last time. To assume that Catholics care only about one thing is absurd.
Simple solution to fix this problem immediately. Since it is apparent that many of the world's finest scholars have weighed in to take time out of their busy schedules to comment here, let us here from the guy upstairs by 5pm to provide instruction on how to deal with this issue. All in favor raise your hands! All against? The I's have it. The guy upstairs has until 5pm to provide instructions. If he does not my decision stands. Ok, it is now 5pm and the guy upstairs has not repsponded and so I have to provide a solution as dictated by the previous vote. Here it is. Neither the vatican nor the catholic church is allowed to intefere with the lives of citizens of the united states and or any decisions that it makes with regard to healthcare etc.etc. If they do, such member or members will be dragged into a public square and I will randomly choose a couple of techniques out of the Malleus Maleficarum that I deem appropriate, to use against the violatior or violatiors, so as to make sure they get the message and that they don't intefere again in the future. Keep these lunatics out of our lives, lest we end up back in the dark ages with the taliban in our back yards.
The vatican is not interfering. Requiring someone to provide something FOR FREE that they find abhorrant is interfering. Remember, no one is being forced to work for these religious organizations.
funny and sooooo true
oh the guy upstairs will speak by 5pm...the trouble is he speaks through random and conflicting people.. we're dooooomed
So it is a sign you seek? Look around. Just like predicted in Revelations........we know how this all will end.
BTW....you prove God doesnt' exist. Explain the origin of the Big Bang and matter. Throw in the "evolution" of lighting charged slime into a single cell.
Your post is anything but reasonable. For one, the book of revelations is not a reliable source of information. Two, it is bad logic to demand someone to prove the negative of your assertion. The burden of proof rests with the one that is making the assertion. That's why prosecuting attorneys have the burden of proof.
So what is the alternative? AND what are the consequences of women (and men) denied birth control because they cant afford it?
wow. Um birth control is 10 bucks without insurance. And they don't have to work there. How stupi d ru?
Condoms are available in any grocery store, gas station, drug store, bar bathroom, etc.
Evidently, NOT at stupid as you. Birth control pills are way more then 10 dollars if insurance does not cover them.
Conservatives don't want women to have access to birth control.....and if they get pregnant, they don't want those women to have abortions. And then.....when the child is born, the child can't get adopted and either lives in a disfunctional family or bounces around in foster care.
This, BTW, is a great strategy to keep poor people poor.....and to keep middle class people (the few that are left) from being able to strive to be upper class.
A higher chance of ectopic pregnancies for one. Some women have extremely high risks for this, and birth control pills,depending on the woman, either severely reduces the risk or prevents that type of pregnancy completely. Seeing as an ectopic pregnancy is potentially life threatening to the mother, and impossible to survive for the fetus, it seems like those pills are a pretty good idea.
HawaiiGuest.....you make good sense.
YOU BETTER CUT THAT OUT.....or the religious right will get ya!
Wow.....I remember when we only had to worry about the Boogy Man.......
LOL thanks Army. I did a little research on the benefits of the pill when this story hit.
How about have all those highly social conscious and anti-religious liberals start their own charity and prove all the contraceptives they want for free? Well past time that liberals and anti-religious actually fund something they believe in with their own money.
Yes because secularlists never contribute to charity. Tell me where is your data to back that up? Where is the financial statements of those you term "anti-religious" showing that none of them contribute to charities?
I support Obama on this issue, 100%.
On what grounds do we decide that we have to give everyone something so that we "have an equal field" This is social justice baloney and the start of a slippery slope conndoms don't cost much. This should have been put the congress too decide not King Obama and his new philosophy. GET THIS GUY OUT
T S Schmidt, you sound like a parinoid whiner......sorry, but just callin' it as I see it.
Double ditto. I think this is just a big fuss from the GOP because they have nothing else they can banter about of any value. They've stepped on their own toes many a time and they are about to do it again with the payroll tax cut extension. As previously mentioned, where was the outrage with 28 separate states passed this mandate 28 separate times? Where was the newly minted Catholic Newt Gingrich, best known for being a serial adulterer, when they passed this mandate in his state of Georgia? Funny, I didn't hear a peep from him then! Even if Obama were to back down completely, you still have 28 state laws in place that contain this mandate.
maggie, I would have to say that you are.......correct.
Conservatives can't beat Obama on t real issues, so they manufacture issues and then trump them up.
Clint Eastwood commercial, anyone?
If my seed counts as human life, I am a mass murderer and my wife is a cannibal.
Careful Dude.......you shouldn't be callin' the wife a cannibal in public.
I really don't understand the issue. If a church is going to participate in "non-religious" activities like hospital care and employment, they should obey the rules of the land. If a church doesn't recognize people of different races as equal, can they refuse to admit or hire someone in their "non-religious" activities? I don't think so. Would they refuse employment to someone because of they are not of the right "religious" creed? I don't think so. So why shouldn't they provide their employees and patients with the same services described in our law? They still have a right to protest the use or availability of it, if that's their belief.
I guess they figure if they can diddle our children without being held accountable why should they follow the other rules?
The Catholic Church should be charged under the RICO act and all of their assets should be seized.
If they were Muslims trying to build a mosque you would. Antichristian Bigot. A church has a right to build schools, hospitals, churches and practice their religion. Did you ever hear of that.
You are absolutely right, Schmidt. They also have the right to pay for their endeavors all by themselves.
Schmidt, not sure if the "Anti-christian bigot" comment was for me, but no need for insults. I don't care if they build a mosque or whatever religious around me. I truly believe in freedom of religion. Also, a church has the right to build a school, hospital, etc if they want, but there are certain requirements that come with doing these (you gotta teach something approved by law in these schools, you gotta obey cleanliness rules in a hospital, etc). I don't think a church that doesn't believe in modern medicine can build a hospital and not use widely approved medical procedures in the hospital? Our laws kinda prevent that. In that case, I could create my own religion that is against paying taxes, and because of religious freedom, I shouldn't be taxed, right?
Hey retards... If you truly cared about fetuses and people ending unwanted pregnancies, then you should be all for birth control...
that's not the point. This is the US. We shouldn't be "forced" to do something not in our belief. Just like when people were outraged when Perry wanted to have all girls in Texas get the immunization that protects against cervical cancer. It's for our own good yet people don't like to be told what to do. This isn't a communist country.
Oh my bad I didn't realize this new law was forcing you to use birth control...
Hey retard....birth control causes abortions. Do a little research, and maybe get an education, then form a proper argument. Idiot.
One thing stop using retard...ok........Second of all this is public funds beling used and yes , we alll have a say on this catholics, Jews etc
J - we already are, without this mandate. There are 28 states who already enacted state laws that require this mandate. This is nothing new.
Condoms cause abortions? Weird.
Birth control prevents pregnancy, that is why people use it. I believe that in order to get an abortion, you have get pregnant first.. Or am I mistaken?
Steven, if PK is a retard then there is just no words for you. Your comment is ignorant and uninformed.
Haha PK, you checkmated immediately... THIS DOES NOT FORCE PEOPLE TO USE BIRTH CONTROL - IF YOU CAN'T GET THIS SIMPLE THOUGHT IN, IMMEDIATELY SHOOT YOURSELF.
This says that it MUST BE OFFERED at places where health and medicine are practiced and rightly so. Do you want to offer help to people or OBEY the Vatican, that is a good way to put it.
Finally–IT'S BIRTH CONTROL! Things that are used WELL WITHIN the first couple days of sperm meeting egg.
I'm all for birth control, but separation of church and state goes both ways
If the Church were only serving and employing same faith individuals I would agree. These are businesses though who serve and employ the general public. Hence why it makes sense they offer full healthcare. Nobody is asking them to BELIEVE in it, just allow the health insurance company to provide benefits.
So everyone should have a equal opportunity to eat pork. And the Muslims have no say in it and must offer it to their staff.......is that ok too.
When you are being forced to pay for something – you are being forced to believe in it. There is suppose to be seperation of Church and State that the liberals always demand. Well if that is the case the State should not force a Church to pay for services or drugs that it does not believe in. If Uncle Sam mandates that everyone should have something – let Uncle Sam pay for it.
When the Church is acting in the marketplace as an employer, they have to follow the same rules as anybody else. The Catholic Church cannot refuse to hire a nurse who is Muslim, e.g., because of her religion, even if they know the employee's salary is going to be donated to the local Mosque. Similarly, they don't get special rules for what health insurance coverage they provide. They have to play by the same rules as everybody else. The Church may not like the fact that their employees will do things the Church frowns upon (like utilize their health insurance to obtain birth control from their doctor), but that is not the Church's choice to make. That is the employee's choice to make. This isn't about the government trying to control the Church. It is about the Church trying to impose it's beliefs on its employees, and the government saying no you don't get to do that.
I thought the original reason for the Catholic Church's insistence that no form of birth control was to be used was to increase the religion's population. Since that is no longer necessary, they should back off and let people choose the size of their families.