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Mixed Catholic reaction to revised White House contraception plan
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whom President Barack Obama called Friday morning.
February 10th, 2012
12:28 PM ET

Mixed Catholic reaction to revised White House contraception plan

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."

After hanging up with Obama Friday morning, Dolan quickly organized a conference call with other bishops nationwide, according to a source briefed on the calls. It's yet to be seen how the Catholic Church will greet the revised White House policy, but some conservative religious voices say they're not satisfied.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Wenski said the Miami Archdiocese pays an insurance company to cover its 5,000 employees and argued that if the insurance company is paying for and providing contraceptives, as the new compromise lays out, the church would still be paying for it.

"They're missing the point when they say this is about contraception," he said. "This is about religious freedom.  It's a sham to say contraception aren't widely available in this country."

But some Catholic groups applauded the White House announcement. Sister Carol Keehan from the Catholic Health Association said she is"very pleased" with the White House.

"Folks were extremely grateful for this," said James Salt, who heads the progressive group Catholics United, which is close to the White House.

Salt was on a White House call to religious leaders Friday morning that was led by Joshua DuBios, director of Obama's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

"This is a solution that can be universally celebrated," Salt said. " There were groups on the call that have a very pro-choice world view and there was no dissent... We're putting out a full-throated endorsement of this."

Stephen Schneck, a professor from Catholic University who has advised the administration in the past, is also pleased with the new HHS policy.  "There was great enthusiasm on the call, a real sense of relief," he said, referring to the conference call with DuBois.

"I think [the administration] finally got it as a result of the fire storm...the religious liberty concerns, that's what turned the policy makers," he said.  "The level of solidarity with the bishops  in seeing this as a religious liberty issue is what I think turned the day."

In recent weeks, religious leaders loudly lobbied the White House on its plan to make religious institutions offer free contraception to employees through health insurance plans. Evangelicals and conservative Jews joined with Catholics in saying the policy was an intrusion of religious liberty.

"As long as the Obama portrayed this as a contraception issue they had a chance to win the pr battle," said Richard Land, head of public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention.  Despite the compromise, Land said the damage has been done.

"It'll be devastating with Catholics," he said, arguing that the president has "shown what he really believes."

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which brought three lawsuits in federal court against the policy, denounced the White House change Friday as an “accounting gimmick.”

Becket said the new compromise doesn’t address the private religious groups and others who object the policy and still view the new policy as them paying for contraceptives, albeit through an insurer.

“Hundreds, if not thousands, of religious institutions are still left out in the cold and will be forced to violate their religious convictions,” said Hannah Smith, senior legal counsel for the Becket Fund, in a statement.

An administration official said the White House will convene meetings with religious leaders in coming days and that “this policy will be developed collaboratively so that the ultimate outcome works for religious employers, their workers and the public.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,082 Responses)
  1. Mat

    Not sure why the Catholic priests do not marry.Aren't they supposed to procreate too per God's wish?

    February 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • sarah

      They don't marry because Catholic families are huge and the Vatican decided it was too expensive to support a priest and his family. They were allowed to marry until sometime during the middle ages.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Mat

      @Sarah, so it all boils down to economics and not religion! So, on the same token, why are the ordinary people not allowed to have smaller families by adopting birth control?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Yup, they've always been more interested in "realty" than reality. Thats why women didnt have rights, and were considered a mans property instead of their equal.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • sarah

      It interferes with God's plan. But I think its mostly because the majority of Catholics are born, not recruited. I personally do not think BC interferes with God's plan. Obviously, if he can impregnate Mary, he's capable of anything. It seems like a lack of faith on the Bishop's part.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • sarah

      It should also be noted that the Church is not opposed to the pill when its needed for medical reasons other than BC. You have to intend to use it as BC. Just an interesting factoid.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  2. Michele

    @ Sarah...You're CLUELESS...some idiot told you that it's more expensive to cover child birth than it is to cover the cost of the pill. Take the average woman's usage of the pill over a lifetime and multiply that against the cost for child birth. You're waaayyyy off. What school of math did you matriculate from? I sure as hell am glad I didn't go to school where you did...that's even if you went!

    February 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Greg

      Including the cost of RAISING the children?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      how nice. you wnat to prevent pregnancy then pay for it yourself!!! Go to plan parenthood and get a condom or the pill. It is free there! It is already accessible.

      Pregnancy is not a disease. For those that need it for real medical reason the insurance will pay provided the DRs send them proof of diagnosis.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Mat

      @Greg, cost of raising children is on the state!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Snow

      So you think child birth involves pushing one out and be done with it? ever saw or experienced or thought about what it takes to go through just the first year after childbirth? let alone the rest..

      who is the dummy here..

      February 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Pharmacist

      Actually @Michelle. You're clueless. It costs pennies for birth control and compare that to prenatal expenses, doctor's visits, deliver care, and the cost to raise a child. My 5 year old can do that math. It's pretty simple.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      Actually, many forms of bith control are available at the pharmacy for $9 without insurance through a federally funded program. That means, if I take birth control for 30 years, which would be average from 18 to mid 40's (until menopause), it would cost $4,320 in a lifetime. The high end would be $40/month for $24,000 in a lifetime. A hospital bill for child birth could range on average from $10-20K, so only on the high-end would you be losing money. However, that does not take into account the biggest cost of all, which is raising the child for at least 18 years, let alone more than one child.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • nice one michele

      ooohhhh dissed i bet she didnt even go to school cause she thinks birth control is less expensive than giving birth to and raising a child

      February 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • patrick

      Let's see your math. 35 years of birth control pills.... against 7 pregnancies. (if you are not on birth control clearly it will be multiple pregnancies). There is no way the cost of birth control pills is more expensive. Be careful who you call an idiot.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • James

      Michele needs to get laid!!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • sarah

      20K at the highest end for BC. 15k per uncomplicated pregnancy. Any complications and its over. Need a c-section. It's over. Two children = more expensive. Not to mention all the doctors appointments, sicknesses and so on that the child will have while on that insurance plan. And you are also forgetting the cost to the employer. More days off, paid maternity leave, lost revenue, some will have to expand their daycare centers and so on. The addition of another human being in this world equates higher costs for the parent, for the employer, and for the insurance company. So yes, there are plenty of companies out there that want their employees to be on BC and are already paying for it because it ultimately saves them money.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Michelle please pray for common sense! I bet you have already, and this is clear proof that praying alone, isn't very effective. Pick up a book other than a bible once in awhile.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  3. Ben

    When are the republicans going to realize that freedom does not mean that you dictate to a woman on how to take care of her health issues. Republicans want to get government out of our lives unless when it comes to a woman's right to control her uterus.
    If the catholic leadership cannot accept this compromise, then they need to go back and listen to what catholic women are saying. Just like other American women, over 96% of American catholic women uses contraceptive. The church need to get off their high horse and hear what they are saying. We cannot compromise on women's health issues.-which this is, inspite of some trying to make it a religious issue for their political convenience.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Greg

      When are people like you going to learn that not all people you would call "republicans" have the same opinion on every issue?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Matthew

      As usual, you ignore the points that are inconvenient to you in favor of setting up and then demolishing a straw man.

      This debate is not and never has been about contraception. All your arguments about women controlling their own bodies are meaningless. Contraception has been and will always continue to be available in this country, and women are and always will be free to use whatever methods of contraception they prefer. The real issue, which you well know but conveniently ignore, is who should *pay* for the contraception. While nobody doubts that women should be able to use whatever method they prefer, it would be flat out wrong to argue that women have some mystical right for society to pay for whatever contraceptives they care to use. After all, you point out rightly that contraception choice is a woman's private decision. If it's a private choice, then it's a private cost. Why should society pay collectively higher insurance fees because some woman somewhere prefers expensive methods of contraception? If she wants it, she can pay for it herself. If not, most public health facilities give out condoms for free. She has the right to use whatever method she prefers, but she has no right whatsoever to ask others to pay for it. THAT is what this is about . . . who pays for the contraceptives, NOT whether contraceptives will be available at all.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      Contraception is not a right! If you want to take contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy then pay for it yourself or go to Plan Parenthood and get it for free. This is typical Dems make a non issue about womens' right. This is nothing to do with women's right. This is Obama and Sebelius ramming their views down our throat under the guise of "womens' rights". It is not a right to free contraception. You are responsible for yourself and your choices.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Snow

      Don't you get the memo.. Freedom means conforming to the arcane rules set by a 2000 yr old goat herder.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Pharmacist

      Amen!! Love it that the catholics are so worried about contraception coverage and yet the majority of catholic women take birth control. Where is the logic? I fear for our future with this kind of reasoning. What a waste of time to debate. Aren't there more important things we could be fixing?!!?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Ben

      when are those raising this false outrage going to accept the fact that a woman have a right to her body? Why should we create a diffrent set of rules for private businesses based on the religion of the owners or affiliates? What is good for Jewish businesses , or Indo or Muslim businesses should be good for the catholic affiliated private businesses.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  4. Linda Bradley

    You are so naive. It doesn't stop with the religion takeover. to go on feeding the alligator hoping that one day he does not eat you is a false sense of security because eat you he will....

    February 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Michele

      Linda...Finally! Someone with a BRAIN!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • FatherWannaBE

      Gosh – one of the few intelligent things said on here in a long time.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Karl

      Smart girl!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Ben

      You mean just like the dealth panel you republicans made up. Republicans give Christians a bad name. Republicans have problem telling the truth. This is the fact-churches are excepted from this rules. However, religious affiliated private businesses were not excepted. Why do we have to create diffrent rules for different religious affiliated businesses? If tomorrow, a muslim, or Jewish, or Indo affiliated businesses want to be excepted from any rules that they percive to be against their religion, what stops that from happening.
      Republicans, your hypocracy stink to high heaven. I am sure God is holding is nose at the stinch that the republican party is producing. You talk religion so well, yet notting Christ-like about your actions. In case you are ignorant of this-over 26 states already have this law in place. No one is asking the Catholic church to do what they are not already doing.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      you go girl!!!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      Ben, do Dems tell the truth? You might want to put down the koolaid and search Obama lies! Secondly, did u forget Obama telling the woman who asked if her 97 mom would be excluded for care because she has lived a full life. Research that one too. The Obamacare dictates what kind of care they think is right for you. Rather than a pace maker you can take a pill Obama once said.
      Lastly, your mother is calling you. Time for a nap

      February 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • SM

      Isn't this a Slippery Slope argument, which is considered false logic? Michelle, since you are supposed to be so good at logic, I thought you would spot that.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  5. Switters

    Maybe the Cathoic heitachy wil now concentrate on their pedophile priests – who continue to molest small children....

    February 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Michele

      Switters...when you KNOW what you're talking about open your mouth...until then SHUT YOUR TRAP. It's not just a religious issue here...it's a FINANCIAL ISSUE that WILL in fact affect YOU down the line!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Michelle, noone knows youre an idiot until you open your mouth. Taking your own advice might help you here.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • FatherWannaBE

      Really...just stop being stupid and speaking without knowledge of anything, ok?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Switters

      Well people, I went through 12 years of Catholic school – and in that time three of my friends were molested by priests – none of the priest were every removed from their stations – only transferred.....

      February 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Jim

      Why do I have to pay for some one's else lack of control. I think there have been more teachers outed as pedophiles than priest. There have even been discovered multiples in the same school. What are they doing about that. Even JoPa was hiding them.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Switters

      Well Jim times must be different now – in my 12 years in Catholic school I never heard of a single nun who had intimate relations with one of hern students – where as these days that's all you hear about is the women teacher banging their junior high students

      February 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  6. mike halter

    The Catholic Church is a mens club that hates women. And is filled with Perverts.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Michele

      Mike....When you KNOW what you're talking about open your mouth...until then SHUT YOUR TRAP. It's not just a religious issue here...it's a FINANCIAL ISSUE that WILL in fact affect YOU down the line!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Aww! Michelle that is spoken like a true religious idiot. Just tell ppl to shut up. Good think it's not that easy or we would all be thinking the world is still flat! We know it's not regardless of what you teach your flock!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • sarah

      Michelle. Because Mike wouldn't be effected if his wife gets pregnant with a baby they can't afford to have? No effect there? And we don't have to pay for all those unwanted children we have now? And pregnancy itself is costly. I know employers who gladly pay for BC over the risk of paying for a pregnancy and the other associated costs.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • SM

      actually, Mike does know what he is talking about. Michelle, he never mentioned birth control in his comment. 🙂

      February 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  7. Michele

    OK Folks...all religion aside...I do this for a living. What people ARE NOT understanding is that insurance is there for "health issues" in order help subsidize the cost...not give you a free ride for anything! BIRTH CONTROL PILLS ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL! PERIOD!!! It is a CHOICE. With this new legislation, ALL employers (other than religious orders and such) ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THIS BENEFIT TO ALL OF IT'S EMPLOYEES AT NO COST TO THE EMPLOYEE ...NO COPAYS! For self-funded groups, the insured made a copay and the fund paid the rest from dues and such. For fully-insured groups, the insured makes its copay and the insurance company pays the rest from premiums. How STUPID can people be??? YOUR PREMIUMS whether your group is self-insured or fully insured are going to go UP!!! Your employer (if self funded) or your insurance company now has to dig into their pockets to pay for the entire service...and that's just what it is: a SERVICE – not a medical necessity! From a religous point of view, the organizations are still going to get stuck paying for it b/c now they're either going to have to hire a re-insurer to cover the services, or if they have a re-insurer, the premiums are going to go up! THE STUPIDITY OF MAN! For those of you who don't know what you're talking about, here's a bit of advice: SHUT THE HELL UP until you have an understanding of how things work and/or KNOW what those of us in the health insurance industry know! People do crap to themselves and then have to find someone to blame. To give an example to the idiots out there that are clueless: For every $60 in copays for a three month supply of this crap for which the insured was responsible, now the insurer/employer is responsible for it. Now multiply that for millions of women's cost. SOMEONE has to pay for the difference. This is just going to result in a raise of premiums in order to make up for the difference and/or MORE people are going to lose jobs in order for it to be paid. STUPIDITY at its best! I say we find a way to get "the pill" sold OTC....NO PLAN is required to cover the cost for OTC drugs. How much do you want to bet within 2-3 yrs, you'l find "the pill" OTC? Let those that CHOOSE to use that crap have to pay for it at 100% at FULL COST...no discounts as with insurance. Let's see how they like it when THEY have to pay for themselves!!!

    February 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Michele

      BTW – OTC = Over The Counter

      February 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • sarah

      As an insurer I'm sure you understand how much more expensive it is to cover a pregnancy over paying for BC.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      @michelle.
      you need to get into a different field, if this is how you Mar a living. The govt isn't making anyone use contraception, they are simply making it available. Unlike you and your church who would like contraception of any form abolished!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • michael Macel

      we're almost there- true socialism. one more term and we've got it

      February 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Come On Now

      Michele,

      Would you care to list all of the costs of prenatal care and delivery, which are shared by the pool of all insureds?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • GiBk

      Fine. So then lets not cover Viagra (unless you have a heart ailment that makes it medically necessary) and lets not cover allergy meds – because those sniffles probably won't kill you. And that means no painkillers either, because you'll survive – just suffer through it. And also...

      February 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • sigh

      You may be an insurer, but you are obviously not an actuary. A single pregnancy is WAY more expensive than many years of birth control.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • William

      Hey Michele, since birth control is a choice, not a necessity as you have stated, (even though for some women it is a necessity because sometimes BC is used to regulate periods as well as other hormonal imbalances that you have forgotten about) why don't we also stop insurance companies for paying for viagra that has NO medical necessity what so ever, beside making sure old priests can keep it up for their alter boys.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • DaveSD

      @Michele

      Stop the verbal attacks on others for a moment. I will consider your position. However, please provide some actual facts. For example, you mention that you work in the industry. So who do you work for and what is your position in the company? Next, how do you know premiums will go up? Can you point somehere in the legislation, that indicates Insurance Companies will increase premiums and/or are you privy to information that said insurance companies will raise rates? The second part of that questions aludes to your role, that is based on your position do you actually set rates/policy.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • V

      I'd gladly pay a bit extra in my insurance if it means less people having babies they cannot afford. I've a feeling that in the wrong run I will still come out WAAAY ahead.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • SM

      gee I'm glad you cleared that up. I thought for a minute this was a forum where people could express their views. But then you explained that you know everything and I am stupid and know nothing and therefore need to shut my mouth. I guess I won't post anything that might contribute to this conversation.

      By the way, you might want to ask your doctor to check you for the narcissism disease. It sounds like you have come down with a bad case of it.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Paul Francis

      My mom used to call me ^that^ only when I was in trouble 😉
      Just a few observations...
      1. I was raised and schooled Catholic, and I don't know any other Catholics who ever took the contraceptive ban seriously.
      2. You prefer to not allow contraceptives to be covered by insurance. How many unwanted children will this result in? High School pregnancies? More people on food stamps and welfare? How many additional abortions?
      3. Are you as upset that almost all insurers cover Viagra for men? Or is that one more a necessity than preventing unwanted pregnancies?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Mike

      Why is socialism such a fright?? I am truely uninformed to this subject, but my observation is that we all live in a well structured society that allows us to advance if we choose and stay dormant if we choose. I know that people don't enjoy paying for other peoples lazy ways, but there will always be lazy people.. If the lazy do not have what they need, we will be paying for it anyways with enhanced crime and overpopulation of more lazy people that have no way out.. WE ARE ALL PRODUCTS OF OUR ENVIRONMENTS, ONLY A SMALL PERCENT OVERCOME THIS VICIOUS CYCLE

      February 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • r-hope

      You know Michelle, once one sifts through the CAPS and all the insults in your post, it makes great sense.
      I for one has learnt something.... thanks

      February 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Sara

      What you call "crap" I call a lifesaver. Without it I bleed for 3-4 weeks straight with only a week in between and I am constantly worn out and have been at times on the brink of suicide. What you call crap HAS literally saved my life.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • notasucker

      Then I want all medication (READ: VIAGRA) that is not medically nessasary to be paid for out of pocket. I also want no tax dollars to go to any organization that does not pay taxes into the system. I did not approve the use of my tax dollars for any religious purposes.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  8. Dina

    Catholic WOMEN want their birth control and USE their birth control. The only people screaming here are the corrupt bishops and the GOP who scream at anything Obama does. Stop giving in, Obama, they'll still call you names no matter how much you compromise.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Michele

      Dina...when you KNOW what you're talking about open your mouth...until then SHUT YOUR TRAP. It's not just a religious issue here...it's a FINANCIAL ISSUE that WILL in fact affect YOU down the line!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • sarah

      Pregnancies cost more than BC. Many insurance companies already cover it. Unwanted children also cost society a great deal of money to society, so this really isn't about money.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • sarah

      Pregnancies cost more than BC. Many insurance companies already cover it. Unwanted children also cost society a great deal of money, so this really isn't about keeping costs down.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  9. USA voter

    Aren't we glad to see the Bishops taking airwaves.

    If only the Bishops did the same when each one knew about the rampant abuse under the very cloaks.

    May our Lord protect us from harm.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  10. rdg18

    It's simple vote out all libtards and demorats.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      And you forgot your other missions. Kill all Jews, black, and gay. And take away the right for women to choose not to sleep with you.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  11. notfromtheisland

    This is not about womens rights or health. You do not have a right to birth control! What is wrong with you people? This is about Obama and Sebilius imposing their will on the country. How do you mandate a corporation provide anything? This is ridiculous. This is govt intrusion at it's worse! U want BC pay for it yourself. Pregnancy is NOT a disease!!

    February 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Jeff Confarotta

      It might be a disease when you and I have to pay for the unwanted baby for the next 18 years and then for the next 40 when they end up in jail.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Birth control pills can be used for other things. Here's a list:

      Women who do not need birth control often choose to take the pill for the other benefits it offers. Combination and progestin-only pills

      reduce menstrual cramps
      make periods lighter
      offer some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease, which often leads to infertility when left untreated

      The combination pill offers many other benefits, including some protection against

      acne
      bone thinning
      breast growths that are not cancer
      ectopic pregnancy
      endometrial and ovarian cancers
      serious infection in the ovaries, tubes, and uterus
      iron deficiency anemia
      cysts in the breasts and ovaries
      premenstrual symptoms, including headaches and depression
      bad cramps
      heavy and/or irregular periods

      February 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      @notfromthisisland.
      the govt. Isn't forcing anyone to take contraception. They simply want to make it available. Unlike your church. Who didn't want anyone to have access to it.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      You are right, but wait the Government makes me pay for Car Insurance and Social Security Insurance. Maybe you are Not right.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      I know about the medical necessity for BC. Their drs can provide the diagnosis to the Insurance co. and they will pay. My daughter, had to do this and it was fine. I take medication that can be used for cosmetic purposes b/c I have a medical condition. The Drs called my insurance and it was covered. Only a small fraction of the population would require for medical reason. To make it available for non medical reason is ridiculous. You want to prevent unwanted pregnancies then pay for it yourself. There are also thousands of clinics lilke Plan Parenthood that offer contraception for free. So why force any employer to proved something that is already readily accessible, esp. when it goes against their beliefs? It should be the employers choice what to provide.
      How lazy r you that you cannot slap a condom on to prevent an unwanted pregnancy? Plan Parenthood gives them out for free. Why is it the womens responsibility to provide contraception? Make some sense people!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      Jeff Confarotta
      So what u r saying is it is the women's responsiblity to provide contraception? How irresponsible that u can put a condom on? Plan Parenthood give out free birthcontrol for women and men! It is already readily accessible!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Sarah

      I starting taking birth control at a young age because I would become very ill when I menstruated. I would vomit to the point where I had to be taken to the hospital for an IV due to dehydration because anything I would drink or swallow would come right back up! It was not about preventing pregnancy it was about avoiding misery and a trip to the hospital on a monthly basis. My mother was not happy about it but there is no way she could watch me suffer every month. So there are other uses!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      JohnQuest
      Did happy hr start early for you?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      Since there is no way to type slower, let me be clear. I do not agree that the Federal Govt should dicate to any business what to do. I do not think that if you are taking contraception to prevent pregnancy that I should pay for that!!! If you have a medical condition, and I know all about that, your DR can show the medical necessity thru a formal diagnosis to the insurance company. At that pt the insurance company will pay. For pregnancy prevention YOU SHOULD PAY FOR IT YOURSELF. IT IS CALLED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!

      February 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • free?

      Planned Parenthood does NOT offer contraceptives for free, you still have to pay. They also sometimes offer sliding scales based on a woman's income. And they often get discounts from suppliers because they buy in bulk, but free? No way.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Come On Now

      notfromtheisland
      "YOU SHOULD PAY FOR IT YOURSELF. IT IS CALLED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!"

      Same deal for pregnancy and childbirth, then.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  12. John

    This guy is has problems telling the truth, and I do not trust him..

    February 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • K3Citizen

      Like the other presidents were more honest, yeah, right!

      February 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Mohamed

      :Almost all I can point out is, I am not sure what to say! Except naturally, for the fsitaatnc tips which are shared on this blog. I will think of a thousand fun strategies to read the reports on this site. I think I will eventually make a move employing your tips on those things I could not have been able to manage alone. You had been so thoughtful to allow me to be one of those to learn from your valuable information. Please know how great I enjoy the whole thing.

      April 1, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  13. Bill

    OH yea the catholic Church is worried about giving women bitrth control How about them giving the priests a pill so they quit raping boys!

    February 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • steve

      salt saint peter?

      February 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  14. waheid

    Aside from the contraception and insurance issues, it is astonishing how ineptly the administration has handled this. The reaction - whether you agree or not - was entirely predictable. Did they think everyone would just roll over because the plan came out of Washington? Talk about being out of touch!

    February 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  15. maggie

    Conservatives are going to do what they always do.....they overplay their hand. Over on stage left, Rick Santorum isn’t the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. He’s the conservative alternative to reality. He consistently mistakes belief for truth — and even fiction for fact.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Seriously?

      Rick also made the list for most corrupt congressman in 2005 and 2006.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      is Obama, Reid & Pelosi on that list? How about Sebelius?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • J.W

      Sebellius was not a senator. She was governor of Kansas.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  16. Annoyed

    Twenty eight states already do it! It did not target churches. It required all employers (not churches) to come into line regardless if they are affiliated with a particular religion. These employers hire people of varying faiths but NO employee would HAVE to use it. This is a cave-in by the administration. It is the Right who look like idiots and now Obama looks like he has no backbone.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  17. Jeff

    People somehow think "yipee...the insurance companies will pay for everything!". Give me a break. Since when was something free? Any smart person knows the costs will immediately be passed on to the American people. America is screwed once again by Obama's decision.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • J.W

      When people do not have insurance, the cost is passed on to the taxpayers.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • mikeinkans

      america is screwed by religion in America that do not pay their fair share of taxes and now do not pay their fair share of insurance coverages as well.

      time to end the free ride for religion in America. I'm done watching them use their tax breaks and other incentives to increase their stranglehold on this country and what it stands for

      February 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Jeff, How is that? The company I work for pays for most of my insurance and I pay for the difference, how is this going to change?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Jeff, stop being a racist pig! Would you rather the only rainbows you see to have just one color? Sounds like a pretty boring rainbow if you ask me.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • doug estes

      Personally I think it is immoral that my insurance premiums help pay for an85 yr. old man' viagra. Talk about something being artificial.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Dina

      I know of a "religious" homeowners association. Those people own over 85 homes that are exempt from taxes. That religious bunch takes away from our tax base.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • tnana

      All this is doing is making it a womans choice to use or not use birth control. Most insurance companies already have adapted the "free" birth control portion of the Health Care Bill. Why do Catholic or any religious based company think they can treat there employees like second class citizens? Last I check this is a democracy, not a theocracy, at least not yet.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  18. JohnQuest

    Perhaps, someone can explain what the Religious leader are complaining about now? they do not have to offer or pay for the service? Seems to me they got what they wanted, what's the problem now?

    February 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Self-righteous indignation.
      Never being content with what they have.
      Major, and I mean MAJOR, control issues.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  19. Reality

    Contraception should mean complete protection from getting pregnant and from contracting a S-TD. Unfortunately, this is not happening . And why is that?

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate, one million unplanned pregnancies) and male con-doms (17.4% failure rate, another one million unplanned pregnancies ) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Se-xually active teens, young adults and adults 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.

    from the CDC-2006 with some health and economic eye openers:

    "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.'" (i.e. the Bill Clinton Syndrome)

    Obviously, Planned Parenthood, parents and the educational system has failed on many fronts.

    (note: some words hyphenated because of an obvious word filter)

    February 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jimmy

      You posted the same garbage yesterday, who is paying you?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Ok, lets for a minute say your statistics are right! How would getting rid of contraception, and condems make things better?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      And furthermore, if the churches had their way, the "HPV" would be illegal as well. I really dont understand your stance or arguments. But then again, where you worship, things rarely need to make sense, huh?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • maggie

      and your point in this whole post is what? If it is a veiled argument for the lack of importance of contraceptive meds, then you have missed anything related to "reality" as there are more illnesses and syndromes that these medications are used for besides birth control.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Its funny that you use the name "reality" when clearly the churches from their very beginning were more interested in "realty" than reality!

      February 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Liv21

      Copy, paste. Copy, paste. Copy, paste. Kind of like the mindless masses the Catholic Church turns out. "Don't think for yourself, consult the Bible!"

      February 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • notfromtheisland

      Ok Axelrod.. go home now...

      February 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Reiteration has and will continue to be a great learning tool.

      And one more time:

      Se-xually active teens, young adults and adults 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. Said data are on-line.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  20. mikeinkans

    is anybody very familiar with the legailities and process of forcing the Mormon church to change their stance (after "god" told them it was ok) on polygamy in order for Utah to join a state?

    I keep reading all of these comments about there not being precedent for the government to trample on "religious freedom" but it seems to me that it has happened numerous times in our countries history

    February 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Like the civil rights movement and how mormons had to finally allow blacks into thier church?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      @mike
      . Read a history book once in awhile. You'll see that things are quite opposite from what you think. Religion has actually trampled on civilian liberties. Your what's wrong with religion. Because your not happy believing what you want. But you want everyone to believe, and live by your rules!

      February 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • maggie

      Honestly, why are you insulting Mike? He is simply asking a thoughtful question and making an observation.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • anance06

      Bingo Mike! I was asking the exact same question!

      February 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Im not insulting mike. Just asking him to think! But I guess for you "thinking" must feel like a crime.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @mikeinkans
      The US government arrested Brighan Young, Joseph's Smith's successor as leader of the Mormon church, on charges of adultery in 1871.
      The US government made the elimination of polygamy a requirement for Utah's acceptance into the Union.
      At that time, the Utah government passed various laws outlawing polygamy.
      In 1890, the LDS offically had a rather conveniently times "divine revelation", banning polygamy within the church.
      By 1896, their application for statehood was accepted.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      furthermore, the US had been sending troops into Utah to enforce a coup to replace Young as governor of the territory.
      Young tried desperately to stop them by burning wagons, scorching the earth, killing a few troops here and there – but he was repalced by 1859.
      The only reason US troops left the area was the Civil War.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
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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.