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February 24th, 2012
11:21 AM ET

Seven states sue government over contraceptives mandate

By Tom Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Seven states on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the federal government requirement that religious employers offer health insurance coverage that includes contraceptives and other birth control services.

The issue has become a political flashpoint in a presidential election year, and the lawsuit by attorneys general from Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Florida and Texas was certain to keep it prominent.

Private plaintiffs joining the seven states included Pius X Catholic High School, Catholic Social Services, Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America and private citizens Stacy Molai and Sister Mary Catherine.

The 25-page lawsuit named the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; and the U.S. Department of Labor and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis as defendants.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Church and state

soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. fernace

    You are a perfect illustration, GodsPeople, of why religion has no business insinuating their myopic, hateful, detrimental rhetoric in government policies! Calling women wh.o.res & telling us to "cross our legs," tells me a lot about you! Anger, hate & misogyny are not desirable tentet of any religion! Please go spout your hateful, negative comments in your church, where you can commisserate w/others just like you!!

    February 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Truth hurts that much huh?

      February 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Wow, Whoever is so childish and immature to use another persons alias needs a reality check!! Anyone who knows me knows that I support women's rights and freedoms. I'm sorry fernace that somebody without a life of their own chose to act in such an immature manner. I was not near my computer last night when the dolt posing as me posted and I certainly would not have disagreed with what you said.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  2. fernace

    You are a perfect illustration, GodsPeople, of why religion has no business insinuating their myopic, hateful, detrimental rhetoric in government policies! Calling women wh.o.res & telling us to "cross our legs," tells me a lot about you! Anger, hate & misogyny are not desirable tentet of any religion! Please go spout your hatefull comments in your church, where you can commisserate w/others just like you!!

    February 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Wahh. Whine more. Facts remain facts.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  3. Fallacy Spotting 101

    Latest post by 'GodsPeople' is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

    February 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      I love aids infested d1ck

      February 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hmm... Pascal's wager works very well. Just cause it backs one side into a corner does not mean that it fails πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Mark from Middle River presents a non sequitur fallacy.

      February 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hmm.... such are some folks opinions. Amazing it is only on the Faithful that you attempts to judge, but that's totally cool... just means you are narrow in your scope and analosis. πŸ™‚

      Pascal's Wager is just another tool in the box of debate with one side declaring that it effective and the other it is not. Do we expect Atheist we debate to accept our argument, naah but I would expect them not to think that the arguments and traps they put forth will work on us. Especially when both sides have heard all the arguments.

      If you choose to state they are fallacy then it just lets us know that it is a very effective argument. πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Mark... how then then have you dismissed the other more ancient gods that existed before the bible came along and are you sure they are not waiting for you when you arrive. This is the point we are trying to get across..you have used some form of logic to tell your self that Zeus or Thor were not "real", and there are books on them and accounts of their exploits..yet they have been dismissed in favour of an new god, and some how this one is now real..

      February 26, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark... how then then have you dismissed the other more ancient gods that existed before the bible came along and are you sure they are not waiting for you when you arrive. β€œ

      Whazzup DNA. I think maybe you should pose that question to another Christian. For me that subject always revolved and answered by Exodus 20:3. β€œThou shalt have no other gods before me”.

      I am not one of those Faithful that knows scripture up one wall and down the other but from what I from Exodus 20:3 is that there are other Gods but as a Christian I am to follow the God of Abraham. I guess you can say that it is a dismissal but I have always looked at it as acknowledgement of the existence but instructions not to follow or worship them.

      I am also of the possible belief that we might all be talking about the same God so I am wondering where you found me saying: β€œto tell your self that Zeus or Thor were not "real". Can you show me where I said such? It does not look like something I would say, so help me out with that. πŸ™‚

      I guess, this is why I find myself at ease and able to converse with other Faiths because it is not my concern if you worship Buddha, Kari, or just tribal Gods.

      Thanks for the respectful post. Coming here to the Belief Blog has shown me that there are Atheist that can be reasonable and show equal respect and a openness to true dialogue. Not just a shouting/flame war

      February 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  4. GodsPeople

    "blah blah athiesm blah blah hate blah blah bitterness blah blah anger"

    This is all you people ever want to talk about.

    February 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Being put down by the likes of this post, you begin to see why. Teach your ridiculous, illogical ideas on Sunday, and keep them out of our schools! Keep your nonsense out of our government, while you're at it.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @AGuest9: Enjoy hell, blasphemer.

      February 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by 'GodsPeople' is an instance of the circu-mstantial ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Latest post by 'GodsPeople' is a common form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Fallaciospotting: Do you ever stop spamming your mental retardation?

      February 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Latest post by 'GodsPeople' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy. The poster would benefit from study of common fallacies and of elements of logic.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Commenter

      Fallacy Spotting 101,

      A valiant effort... but folks like @GodsPeople don't give a fig about truth, or fallacy, or logic, or reason. They've got a "feelin' in their hoarts", and that's it, end of story...

      February 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Commenter

      I love m-o-n-k-e-y p-e-n-i-s

      February 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  5. Reality

    "Twenty-one states offer exemptions from contraceptive coverage, usually for religious reasons, for insurers or employers in their policies: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (administrative rule), Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia."

    http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/insurance-coverage-for-contraception-state-laws.aspx

    February 25, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  6. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    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.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  7. TheRationale

    I mean I can't even write anything down. Religions are so backwards I can't even start. Why do you care what people do with their personal lives? Why is that so important? Why are people so opposed to contraception? Heck, even if you're talking married couples, it lets them be physically intimate and make one another feel good and positive without unwanted pregnancies. You would think religious people who are so opposed to abortion would support contraception because it prevents the abortions from needing to happen in the first place.

    February 25, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • JJ

      I would like to know why men are deciding women's health issues. Birth control should be left to the individual and not be mandated by government or religious organizations.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • AGuest9

      JJ, it's what religions do. Keep the women and everyone else not like them down.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Well, the issue is not really if they feel that women should or should not be allowed contraception. What is at issue is telling a place of business, a company, an organization should be forced to pay for contraception which are against its beliefs. The church based organizations are not barring employment based on if a woman is on birth control.

      Now maybe the pharmacy question might lend itself to a right, but think of it. Is a company required to provide health coverage? When I was contracting, I worked for a few companies that did not offer coverage. If they are not required to cover their employees then is not heath coverage a perk not a right of employment?

      February 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I'm really just a clueless tw.it!

    February 25, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • ....

      Nii don't put yourself down like that!

      February 25, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I'm really just a clueless twit!

    February 25, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  10. PlayCracktheSky

    Well this makes me embaressed to be from and living in Ohio. Like I've said before I really don't see what the problem is. The INSURANCE COMPANY is covering the BC! The church is not being forced or even asked to hand out the contraceptives directly. Employers just have to provide health coverage which happens to provide contraceptive. coverage. I just want to add how I just love the way the Catholic Church constantly oppresses other's rights but gets all crazy when they think they're being oppressed. It's ridiculous really.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  11. Mark from Middle River

    Study: A Curious Link Between Birth Control Pills and Prostate Cancer

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

    So in a year or so when the next round of studies are concluded ..... what if the findings are confirmed and there is a link between Birth Control and Prostate Cancer.

    The freedom of women's reproductive health vs the cancer risk to the lives of men?

    This could be the fight of the century. Will women be willing to drop birth control for the sake of their husbands, fathers and son?

    I can't wait.... those debates could be epic

    February 24, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • AGuest9

      More tubals.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  12. PrimeNumber

    I had my cat spayed in order to prevent too many cats in the neighborhood. The beast cannot manage birth control on its own. Apparently, religious organizations are going to have to pay to have people spayed or neutered because these people won't or can't take responsibility for it themselves.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Sid

      All religious organizations should have all their members spayed or neutered.

      February 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  13. NewsNana

    Contraception and religion: suppose your employer is of a religion proscribing blood transfusions. By the same logic used to allow exemptions in contraception coverage, then the employer should be allowed to not cover blood transfusions. What if the employer is a religion-based vegetarian? Should the employer be allowed to mandate a vegan diet while the employee is hospitalized?

    February 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @NewsNana: Absolutely. You sign up for an employer knowing their particular idealism. You are therefore required to follow it while on company time, even if you don't agree with it. You're also expected to accept insurance no matter what it doesn't cover. The rest of us do. Wh0r3s can just learn to keep their legs closed.

      February 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Godpeople..didnt work for Mary....god is a sneeky little dude eh

      February 26, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  14. Alien Orifice

    The church goers who disagree with all of this grand-standing should leave the church. No one has them tied to the pews. This could be a positive.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      It would be cool if the Christians would "go on strike". Hit the church in the pocket book, that is all they understand.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      "No one has them tied to the pews. " Precisely. They stay because they have free will to do so. Free will is a basic tenet of the faith.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  15. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Some nitty-gritty:

    "Twenty-one states offer exemptions from contraceptive coverage, usually for religious reasons, for insurers or employers in their policies: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (administrative rule), Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia."

    http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/insurance-coverage-for-contraception-state-laws.aspx

    Next:

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

    Next:

    There are different opinions as to what a religion really is or what a non-profit is and therefore all non-profits should file Form 990's. At the moment, religious groups are exempt. To be fair therefore, there should be no tax-exemptions for any group and that includes the Democratic and Republican Parties. Faith and community initiative grant monies should also be cancelled and there should also be no tax deductions for contributions made to charities and non-profits.

    Next:

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

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

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

    Next topic !!!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  16. fernace

    Since these religion-based businesses (which is what they are) are willing to extend insurance coverage of Viagara, so men w/ erectile dysfunction can continue to enjoy s.e.x, then they should also extend coverage to womens contraceptives, so his wife doesn't have to get pregnant every time he comes near her! I can't believe this is a topic of discussion in the 21st century & especially now, when the focus should be on job creation & fixing the economy! IMO, only churches can use the "religious freedom" card & it's still a weak excuse for denying coverage of a basic necessity! ! A business affiliated w/ a religion is still a Business & should abide by the laws of the land! The Obama Administration has even delivered a compromise, the contraceptives will be covered by the insurance provider, not the employer, but that's still not good enough for these fanatics! The Religious Right wont be satisfied until they've taken women back to last turn of the century, when we couldn't even vote! They would love that!!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Your post was much better than mine.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
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      February 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  17. Alien Orifice

    My post is not of the best quality.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  18. J.W

    Not too long ago there was an article on here about how they were making Amish people have orange triangle on their buggy. If Catholics can get an exemption for something like this the Amish should have an orange triangle exemption.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  19. hippypoet

    look, its tyranny anyway you look at it... you may like it you may not, it doesn't change the FACT that it is someone or something telling you what to do or how to do it!

    tyranny !

    February 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Some seek the shelter of tyrants.

      They fear the dark and the eternity they shall spend there.

      They sacrifice their rationality for the false promise of salvation being sold by charlatans.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • hippypoet

      these are the same folks that i wish would realize that a tyrant is nothing without them who seek the shelter of tyranny!
      there is no power unless given by the m@sses!

      the word authority, its definition is – The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
      the definition of the word power – The ability to do something or act in a particular way, esp. as a faculty or quality.

      if the ones who take issue with what choices are being made in there name act out then the power of the authority is gone.
      such is all tyrants, deriving power from those too stupid to know they can stand for themselves!

      February 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Joe T.

      hippypoet, how is the Catholic church being forced to do anything? If anything, the insurance company should be the one complaining. They are the ones having to pay for it.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Joe, i never said anything about the church... i am talking about the forcing of ones hand without the option. The church just gives bad advise and pi$$ poor examples on how to act as you preach, however it too is ran by a delusional perv with a napolean complex! pope = power hungry nazi ! but thats besides the point!

      February 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I am tired of all the trannies. Sometimes I can't even tell.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  20. Snow

    Wasn't the compromise on the mandate say the religious insti.tution itself need not know or officially be required to offer the coverage? that if an employee wants such coverage, she deal with the insurance company directly WITHOUT involving the religious inst.itution.. ?? So what are they so heckled about?

    Ahh now I get it. They want to control and tell all its employees how to live their life.. what to do when and how.. They want to be, at best control freaks.. or 1984'isque at worst..

    February 24, 2012 at 4:05 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.