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My Take: Contraception politics makes good works difficult
The author has struggled to get contraception coverage from her Catholic employer.
March 16th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

My Take: Contraception politics makes good works difficult

Editor’s note: The writer was granted anonymity because of concerns this piece could jeopardize her employment.

By Anonymous, Special to CNN

I love the good works my job at a Catholic nonprofit group enables me to do, advocating for the poor, hungry, sick and homeless.

My passion for these issues comes from Catholic social teaching. From my Catholic grammar school to my Catholic high school, I absorbed these teachings into my DNA. As I came into adulthood at a Catholic university, my commitment to social justice guided me.

The most profound declaration of faith I can make is practicing the Catholic teachings about human dignity and about what my faith calls the “preferential option for the poor” in my everyday life.

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My work brings attention to people who don’t have corporate lobbyists representing them in government. I advocate for people too often talked at or about, not to, and never with, by the elite and powerful.

But I’ve come to realize that women are excluded from the Catholic notion of social justice, specifically the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ understanding of social justice.

The bishops don’t understand women or biology. They understand power and control. They have become lobbyists in robes exerting influence in Washington and every state capital.

They are detached from the real life challenges facing women who sit faithfully in their pews, serving their churches, and millions like me who’ve rejected their power and control in order to keep the most important parts of our faith.

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The politically powerful bishops want to control access to contraception, portraying themselves as victims of the new federal healthcare law’s policy that provides free birth control coverage to women.

My work brings me in touch with people for whom the word “victim” has real meaning. The bishops aren’t victims. They’ve created a political charade based on invented threats to religious liberty.

What about my religious liberty and that of my co-workers? Real religious liberty gives everyone the right to make personal decisions, including whether to use birth control, based on our own beliefs.

And what about our health? When a colleague with a cancer-causing condition at my Catholic nonprofit needed contraception for her treatment last year, she didn’t know where to turn. Our employer doesn’t provide access to contraception, and she couldn’t afford the medication. Her condition got worse.

After months of waiting for permission from our employer, she was finally granted contraception coverage, and her condition improved. But she suffered needlessly in the interim.

Another co-worker, we learned, was paying $90 a month out-of-pocket for the contraception she needs to treat her polycystic fibrosis. That’s a significant monthly expense, especially considering “the pill” is the most commonly prescribed drug for women.

HR told us we had to ask permission of the agency’s CEO on a case-by-case basis. It reminded me of when I first got my period at age 12. My cramps were so bad that my pediatrician recommended contraception.

I had to ask my father’s permission. The only difference today is my colleagues and I aren’t young girls; the CEO isn’t our father.

Recently, I learned that I needed contraception for dysmenorrhea, and I thought my work helping my colleagues get contraception coverage meant I would have an easier time.

Instead, I had to explain my personal medical situation to a man in HR, which is embarrassing for any woman.

When I received special permission from the men in control to get medication to take care of my health – to live according to my beliefs – I requested that the agency develop protocols so no one else would have to go through the same humiliating process. The powers that be refused.

In rejecting the Obama administration’s compromise on contraception coverage – which mandates that insurance companies, not religiously affiliated employers, provide free contraception coverage – the church and the bishops find themselves out on a limb politically.

They have twisted religious liberty to mean they can impose their beliefs on others, and it’s taking a toll. The bishops’ rigid thinking caused me to leave the Catholic Church two years ago.

I could do the church’s good works advocating for others, but the only way I could advocate for myself was to leave the church.

I was no longer nourished spiritually. Instead, the spoken and unspoken messages about sexuality, the body and women – especially our inability to serve as clergy – forced me to leave.

Just like the people I advocate for, within the church hierarchy women are talked at and about, not to, and rarely with.

I’m deeply proud of my work representing the poor and dispossessed. I love my job, and the faith I’ve found through my work after leaving the church. I don’t like the thought of having to leave that behind, too.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion

soundoff (576 Responses)
  1. Amanda 14

    Obviously the writer of this article does not think that the Catholic Church can have articles of faith that are required to be a Catholic. There is no option or a pick and choose in the Catholic Faith. This is also not the "Bishops" take on anything. It is the rules of the Church. If you don't want to talk about your medical condition, you could write it in a letter.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Shane

      What the hell is your point exactly?!!

      March 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  2. 4juices

    All of us need to consider the pros and cons of employment that we accept. The examples stated by the author are sad, but those are issues that should have been taken into consideration before she accepted employment. Instead of using a public forum to complain about your employers, you need to work within the organization for change. If change is not possible, then I would suggest you look for employment elsewhere.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • moneyasylum

      When most of us accept a job, we don't think to ask if our dysmenorrhea – to be diagnosed sometime in the future – will be covered by our employer's insurance. Medical treatments are constantly in flux for the thousands of conditions any of us could get at one time. In this article alone, several maladies were cited which use contraception as a medication. One can't predict what (if any) disease she/he will be afflicted with in the future. Rather than go through the thousands of possible medical scenarios with any given employer, wouldn't it me nice if medications for all diseases and conditions were covered?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  3. Scholar

    For those discussing morals coming from religion, a study of history of philosophy and religion reveals quickly that religions came later, being a codification of laws and morality considered important to run societies. Just one example is the Golden Rule that is common to and predating all major religions. It may have come about from the finding that it is better to live in peace with your neighbors than war with them, especially if it is an agrarian society that depends on being in one place in order to raise food crops.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  4. Mr. Duckworth

    Fact: Less then 3% of Priests were even accused of pedophilia. Fact: much higher rates of this horrible crime happen among Male Public School teachers, Coaches, Social workers – way higher rates. All these biased postings against conservative religions are lies and propaganda by radical left nuts who want all religion pushed out of our society – they can't stand the fact that the basic freedoms of our society to respect human life and stand up for the weak and defenseless came from the principles from the Catholic Church. We won't be brainwashed by the media.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Shane

      Prove it. Give me the exact source of your statistics, the year, and what type of study procedures were used.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Shane

      ......Yeah, that's what I thought. All talk.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Mr. Duckworth

      google it lady shane – published crime stats are easily found, that is if you can walk upright and use a computer.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You made the claim, Duckfoot. The onus is on you to provide citations for your assertions. Get to it.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  5. Scholar

    What if a church that believes not in medicine but only in the power of prayer to heal all ills runs a company?

    Would you have no health care at all for such a company due to a religious exemption?

    March 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Probably as this is Christian Science beliefgs

      March 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • rcjdental

      No, you would pay for your own insurance. I am self employed and I pay for my own insurance.

      what if some one gets fat does there boss have to buy them a gym pass.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  6. Pete

    These religious fanatics are mad because they're afraid if contraception is given,as per the Presidents legislation,then they'll lose money.It comes more down to a monetary issue than religious one ,doesn't it.These religious neanderthals in robes what mindless zombies to follow their rightwing ideology,or they'll go to Hell for it.This comedy show always comes around with the abortion issue ,like the locusts in the plains,here today ,gone tommorrow.After November,it'll be all over like a good parties hangover.They'll forget it till this time 4 years from now,remember my words,its proven fact.....

    March 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Scholar

      Note that the church in question provides robes of such price that they are worth more than many in third world countries can earn in a year or maybe ten years. Has this church forgotten the idea of charity and poverty? It seems odd that the high cost of vestments of the church leaders is in stark contrast to the teachings of Christ.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • kcfq58

      God's law does not change it is not a fashion statement.
      You have no clue what the teachings are about yet you do Satan's work by bashing the Church Why?

      Forgive Father them for they know not what they say or do.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Zeus

      @kcfq58. Where does the Bible specifically mention contraception as being against God's Law? What did Jesus have to say about it in the Gospels? What exactly is your basis for this? Keep in mind the Church used to teach the earth was the center of the solar system, so don't try to push "because the Church says so" on me.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  7. adamthefirst

    Anonymous is the writer? Give me a break, they didn't want to be agknowledged because this is a hate article against Catholics.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Most likely. or not Catholic bashing without the facts.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • What ACrock!

      Very well said, Adam. Catholics who aren't loyal to their wonderful faith should get out. We don't NEED them =- they're an unwelcome liability.
      As for being against women?????? The Bishops are doing their JOB. They are upholding Catholic pricinciples of FAITH.

      No-one is FORCING Catholic women to swallow the pill ! They are free to follow their consciences if they wish. BUT the FAITHFUL Bishops -–UNLIKE politicians don't keep moving the goalposts to suit the vociferous anti-Catholics in our society. GOOD FOR THEM. They should be respected.

      This is NOT about women; It is NOT about contraception This IS ALL about anti-Catholic propaganda. Man up and admit it.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  8. Wizard of Oz

    Anonymous. Really? Good job by one of your staff writers to whip up all the anti-Catholic bias out here.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Catholics have been persecuted since Jesus was nailed to the cross.
      We have and will persevere as the truth always wins out.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Faithful

      Absolutely! Jesus said "The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it>" [the Catholic Church] If we have to suffer this attack on our Faith, bring it on! The heavier the Cross, the greater the reward.

      Just so long as the bigots realise that they're on a hiding to nothing.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • abcd

      kcfq58, Jesus was a practicing Jew all his life. Without his death and resurrection Catholicism would not exist. Explain to me how the death of a person who live before the Catholic Church existed counts as persecution against Catholics.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      abcd – I believe the Church started at Pentecost when Jesus directed his Apostles and other followers to go and evangelize. Go and make disciplies of all nations. He assuerd them that the Holy Spirit would be with them. Although that is the official birth of the Catholic Church, his relationship with the apostles started 3 years before his death when he started his public ministry. One of those Apostles, Peter, was the first pope.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  9. Kim

    No one is denying you or anyone else access to birth control. You simply have to pay for it yourself. You do NOT have a RIGHT to ANYTHING for free. Part of me wishes no one had health care insurance...so that everyone was responsible for their own expenses. it would financially devastate those with true health care needs (cancer, Ms, etc.) But it would bring this issue into the realm of sanity. This is nothing more than greed and a complete violation of the religious freedom of the Church.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • whoopitydoo2

      FINALLY! SOMEONE WITH A BRAIN. Kim, will you marry me?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Shane

      Ahh, the Catholic church deems birth control a sin. If you are a devout Catholic woman, you are s**t out of luck on that and will probably end up pregnant and not by choice.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Kim

      Shane...no one is denying Catholic women birth control. That is their choice. They can get it at any drug store in exchange for something called "money". It's amazing the freedom we have. Work for a living and you can spend YOUR money on anything you want! As for a woman getting pregnant and it not being her choice...complete rubbish. The minute you jump in the sack with someone you willingly accept the risk of pregnancy. Its not my fault someone else gets pregnant because I refused them access to my bank account.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • t3chsupport

      If you purchase insurance from your employer (as in, they take money out of your paycheck for it every month), then you are paying for your own contraception.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Shane

      KIM--I didn't say women are being physically stopped getting birth control, but AGAIN, if they are devout, strict Catholic, they might as well be physically stopped because their beliefs will not allow them to get the contraception. I know plenty of women in this situation.....real life stuff, not BS posturing on a CNN page.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Jadugara

      Kim,...to put it simply, you are an I D I O T.... Why? Because religios freedom doesn't mean the Catholic Church gets to dictate the freedoms of others... And the Church isn't being forced to do ANYTHING under this current legislation... All they get to do is sit there and be mad because the law has gone above their heads and found a way that women can have the health coverage they desire, without the Church being able to limit their access to the medication they want and need THROUGH THEIR HEALTH CARE PLANS THAT THEY PAY FOR!!!! This isn't about "free birth control", although that's what it's become now because the Catholic Church forced to government's hand, and made them remove the Church from the Health companies' process of providing coverage to their clients...

      March 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Scholar

      What we have here is a stark lack of charity. No health insurance, OK – no insurance of any kind then? Health insurance is but one kind of insurance offered at a profit by companies, including homeowner insurance, liability insurance, etc. You want to go it alone, you'll have to wait to drive a car until you can pay cash for it as well as put funds into escrow instead of buying auto insurance for liability. You'll have to save money up to pay cash for your house or just rent. The argument presented does not hold water.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Kim

      T3...that's right. And if I work for a catholic organization I am fully aware it won't be covered and I am free to get a job elsewhere. Just as I don't demand that the Kosher deli 2 blocks from my house carry bacon because it would be more convenient for me than having to walk 6 blocks to a grocery store. I am free to eat anything I want and am free to go anywhere I want to purchase it with money I earned. Since my religion doesn't ban pork...is the deli denying me my religious freedom by not selling it? Of course not. This debate is no different.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Kim

      Scholar....I actually agree with you. Absurdity was my point. I would say this though. Heath insurance is different from most insurance. Car insurance for instance...it pays for accidents...not tires, gas and oil changes. Health insurance has become nothing more than a payment service for everyday and routine items and everybody wants their daily items for free. Well...if everybody is going to get EVERYTHING for free, then everyone should just pay for their own. Then we are responsible for our own lives and choices...not somebody else's.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Kim

      Jad...you are a M O R O N. The catholic church isn't denying anyone their freedom. They simply are NOT going to provide it or pay for it. That is their RIGHT. Walk up the street to the drug store and buy it YOURSELF.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Sara

      Kim, as a woman, your opinion on this issue is disheartening. I'm not really sure the basis of it...you don't want to pay insurance premiums that pay for contraception? Well, don't you pay premiums that help pay for lung cancer treatment for smokers and AIDS treatment for former drug abusers? You pay for surgeries for reckless drivers and liver repair for alcoholics. So why not pay for contraception for women, so they can have a say in having children? Or to treat disease. You pay for men who want viagra to get hard ons so what is the difference? In a perfect world, everyone would have enough money to pay for their own healthcare. But I assume that if you were in a position where you couldn't afford 20.000 dollar treatment for your spouse of child, you wouldn't just say "oh well, I can't afford it." You would EXPECT the government to help you, you pay taxes, after all. Some people abuse the system, but some really need the help. And they shouldn't be denied because they work 40 hours a week cleaning up your crap and still only make 25,000 dollars a year. God, open your eyes.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Faithful

      Kim – Bless you for all your responses here. You're a pearl among [mainly] gravel.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jadugara

      Kim,..you're still and I D I O T.... Sorry,...hate to break it to you...

      You just keep convincing yourself that the men who run the Catholic Church (as ONLY men are allowed to do) have your best healthcare in mind when they are making these dictates... They don't, and you would realize that if you were actually smart, like the (well over) 90% of the Catholic women out there who DO use birth control even though your precious Church FORBIDS IT...

      Your grip on reality is perilously thin... I'd be disgusted by you if I didn't pity you more... But, worthy of disgust OR pity, your mode of thought has been constraining women as the brunt of religious domination and abuse for thousands of years...

      March 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Anise

      Nobody gets anything for free. They pay health insurance premiums. And your very cute idea about wishing everyone would pay for everything out of pocket will disappear the moment you are hit by a bus. Because we live in a civilized, wealthy nation, you will fully expect an ambulance to come pick you up, and it will. Give me a break.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  10. Pro-choice former Catholic Mom

    I would like to thank this author for having the courage and the generosity of spirit to share something this personal. I want to thank her and let her know that she is not alone in her understanding of the situation. I admire her for leaving the church. This is a very hard thing to do especially if you were raised and educated like she was. My husband and I put all three of our kids through the Catholic School system and sent one of our children to the University of Notre Dame. I too have been educated and raised much like the author of this piece. I have just recently left the church. It has been several weeks now but years in the making. There have been so many injustices done by the church towards women and children. Where do I begin? My husband and I have been married for over 32 years. Imagine how upset we were to find out that we had been married by one of the worst pedophiles in church history!!!! And there were so many. I am so angry. I was so tired of my daughters and myself being treated as less than second class citizens. The final straw came for me when I found out that the Bishops were taking President Obama to court to defend "my religious liberty!" What a terrible lie! My husband has been a eucharistic minister for years. When I was approaching menopause he was gracious enough to get a vascectomy for me. I didn't want to keep taking the pill. 98% of married Catholics have used contraception. Shame on the church for blatently ignoring this fact. Well this was the final straw. I have left the church and I feel a sense of relief. I don't know if I will join another church. I'm convinced that it would be better in the eyes of God to be a good, moral, honest, and ethical athiest than to hate the vast majority of the world's population based solely on their gender. Isn't this what all prejudice is? Thinly disguised contempt. I'm done with the church's contempt for women. We have given thousands of dollars to the church over the years. I intend to give my weekly contributions to the church to President Obama's re-election campaign. After we get the President re-elected, then I may decide to give this money to Planned Parenthood. Why? Because I believe that there is more good, more God, more kindness and compassion in their works than in the church itself. They serve the poorest of women. "What so ever you do to the least – that you do unto me."

    March 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Shane

      Well said. I especially think this line says it all: "...be a good, moral, honest, and ethical athiest." That is how I see myself. I don't need a religion or a god to tell me how to moral-it's either in you or not. Religion is the problem, faith is not.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • karen

      The least of these include the thousands of unborn babies that are brutally murdered everyday. I will keep you in my prayers.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • whoopitydoo2

      Shane, where did you get your "morals"? From thin air? You might want to read into some of those religious books that taught society how to be civil a few thousand years before you or anyone else in your family was around.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Too bad you do not understand even the Sacrement of Marriage. As the priest did not marry you he only witnessed the fact.
      Marriage is the ONLY sacrement not administered by the priest.
      If you really loved your Church you would understand that man is weak and is a sinner. Your priest may have been a demon in disguise. But if you understand The teachings of the Church then you would know that we are all part of the Body of Christ. You should really read the Theology of the Body of Pope John Paul 2. As explained by Christopher West.
      If you are still in disagreement then your apostasy was the correct thing.
      I will pray for you to see the true light.
      God is Great man is feeble, Jesus gives us strength to be saintly.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Shane

      @whoopitydoo2-–Believe it or not, yes, people are either innately "moral" or they are not. I have never had any religious teachings and yet, I am a moral, ethical, good person. The Catholic church and religion in general are the real problem. They are the immoral ones--they are directly responsible for more wars, hate, deaths and destruction than anything else in the world.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Thomas

      Thank you very much for bringing Matthew 25 into this discussion. Like you, I was educated years ago by the Catholics (Dominican nuns for eight years; Jesuits for four). For some reason, the church has decided to abandon those principle to concentrate on peripheral issues that are of very little importance. For all the people with serious religious beliefs who opposed health care reform to include coverage for the poor, I give you Matthew: "Then shall He answer them saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." I think it's pretty clear that Jesus was more interested in the just treatment of all people than arguing about contraception.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Alley Loo Ya

      whoopitydoo2,

      And you might want to read some of those secular philosophy works which preceded your religion by many centuries.

      I'll make it easy on you (and enjoyable) - try Aesop's Fables – 600 years B.C.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Oh, here we go with the morals bit. I'm incredibly tired of listening to this drivel! Morality was around LOOOONG before your made-up religion! Try reading some Greek philosophy on morals and ethics that was written several centuries BCE.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Tom

      @Shane: Like most atheists, your argument of full of logical holes. By denying the existence of a supreme being, you therefore must only believe in the existence of a physical world. But in a purely physical, material world, qualities like "good" and "righteous" and "moral" can not exist. Yet by your own admission you claim to have those exact qualities. You are certainly free to continue living with your head in the sand, just don't expect the rest of us to admire your hypocrisy.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • What IF

      Pro-choice former Catholic Mom,

      Brava!

      You have made an important step toward realism. You sound a lot like me about 20 years ago. I now consider myself to be an agnostic atheist. That might sound scary to you, but do not be afraid. Take your time, and best wishes on your journey.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Tom

      @Aguest9: Wow. The Greeks wrote about morals and ethics a few hundred years BCE. I am so underwhelmed. The Ten Commandments recorded by Moses date to somewhere between 1300 and 1600 BCE.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • julia mae

      I think it's time to start the Mary Movement. As in "Martha and Mary and Mary choose the better part."

      Let's all be good Catholic women, we don't leave because the Deposit of Faith is true . But we go and sit and listen. Like Mary. After all, Jeus said she chose the better part. STOP VOLUNTEERING; STOP WRITING CHECKS.

      I say we stop disagreeing with the Church: since we have no value, we should give no value.

      Send your money directly to places that serve the poor. Save the Children. Mercy Corps.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • AGuest9

      @Tom, and you are making the assumption that those ten commandments were the first time that anyone thought that maybe it was a bad idea to kill, steal, abandon your parents in old age and fool around on your wife? Unfortunately, they also created a big boogieman in the sky, too.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Faithful

      The Catholic Church does not want or welcome disloyalty. The Bishops have simply re-iterated the Church's stand on contraception. No-one is FORCING you to do anything. You have a private conscience; so if you choose to take contraceptives that's up to you. But DON'T expect the Church to alter it's teaching for YOUR convenience.

      This is NOT forcing women to DO anything – it's just telling them the Church won't pay for it !

      I love the way you anti -Catholics changed a principle of belief into a 3-Act Opera about the SUPPOSED "War on Women"
      I'm a Catholic woman and I DON'T feel insulted.
      Only women with low self-esteem would be affected by a statement "We object to paying for your contraceptives"
      And before anyone starts – the Church has NEVER OBJECTED TO THE PILL FOR HEALTH REASONS.>

      March 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Tom

      @Aguest9: I made no such claim-you did. I merely pointed out the fact that you apparently are so in love with the Greeks or anyone else you can think of to cite the so-called moral high ground, that you conveniently and purposely appear to overlook one of the most visible and longstanging examples of it-the Ten Commandments.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      karen, if you see any babies being murdered, call 911. Murder is illegal.

      Abortion is not illegal and was NEVER considered "murder" even when it was forbidden. Educated yourself, honey. You're ignorance is appalling and it's no prettier just because you dress it up with your religious beliefs.

      March 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Chad

      "ELKTON, Md. — Two doctors accused of performing late-term abortions in Maryland, including one in which a woman was critically injured, have been arrested and charged with murder.

      Dr. Steven Brigham, of Voorhees, N.J., was arrested Wednesday night in New Jersey and was being held in the Camden County Jail on Thursday, police told The Cecil Whig newspaper.

      Authorities also arrested Dr. Nicola Irene Riley, of Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday night. Riley was being held in the Salt Lake City Jail. Both are awaiting an extradition hearing.

      March 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If they're being charged with murder, you brain-dead azz, then the abortion wasn't a legal one.

      You know, you're actually dumber than a vegetable, Chad.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CBS news:"That incident resulted in the murder case against Riley and three of the 11 murder charges against Brigham, prosecutors said. The other charges against Brigham relate to four other illegal abortions he performed at the East High Street Clinic, prosecutors added."

      Calling you Chard is an insult to a very good vegetable.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  11. kcfq58

    Do not bash the Church teachings which have been around since the time of Moses.
    The Church remains faithful to its teachings anchored it is Canons, Laws, Doctrines.
    The Church will not bend to popular trends as God remains the same through the ages. Humans would like God to change.

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

      Religion is responsible for more wars, deaths, and destruction than any other single source. When people realize that these religious books are fables at the very most, countries will finally come together and the all fighting, hate and discrimination will fade.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jo Ann

      The Roman Catholic Church came into being long after Moses.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • whoopitydoo2

      Shane, actually, you're not correct. Greed is the cause of almost every war in history. Religion sometimes is the cover story though. So, I can see how an ignorant person such as yourself can confuse the two. Religion has changed the lives of billions of people around the world for the better. It's helped people beat alcoholism, depression, etc... Don't bash it just b/c you're an obnoxious atheist. If you don't believe in anything, then don't and move on with your life. Quit attacking people b/c they believe in something.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Keith

      What absolute GARBAGE, the church has changed many times when it was FORCED to. Remember when heretics were BURNED at the stake, was that a popular trend. Remember when people were tortured by the church in ways we cannot discuss in polite society, was that a popular trend. Remember when you could be burned at the stake for the heinous crime of reading the bible in ENGLISH rather than Latin, was that a popular trend.
      Apparently the church no longer does these things, the church was FORCED to respect the rights of human beings, if your god was offended at these changes then you need to find another god.
      People like you who are blind, deaf and dumb make me sick

      March 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Keith

      Who says that wars are started by greed, Correct, started by greedy people who believe that their greed is justified because they are gods appointed ruler whose duty is to spread gods word by slaughtering their non believing neighbours and confiscating the lands.
      Mans weakness and blind belief in gods and religion are responsible for the overwhelming amount of bloodshed throughout history. The Spanish slaughtered whole civilizations in South America just because those people had different beliefs and gods to the god of catholicism. The priests who accompanied the Spanish invaders drooled with religious fervour as they watch the wholesale murder of men women and children.
      The difference today is that religion for the most part has been stymied by the power of elected governments, so organizations like the catholic church go after soft vulnerable targets like WOMEN, the catholic bishops should all hang their heads in shame.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Tom

      @Keith: In your rush to bash the "church," you seem to have lumped Biblical teachings into the same category as man's implementation of them. There's a huge difference. As long as man is the imperfect being that he is, he will continue to make mistakes, correct them, and make others. Does that mean the Bible is wrong? No. Some people relish quoting passages from the Bible about adultery, incest, murder, etc. They overlook the fact that the Bible is a history book which recorded the human condition during the times in which the various books were written. The theme of God's involvement in the affairs of men and his plan for redemption is the message that never changes.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Faithful

      Shane – Don't show your ignorance. Religion = wars??????

      Atheism is responsible for more wars and death in the last 100 years than ALL religions in history. Do the math:

      Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Trotsky, Mao Zedong, Le Duan, Alvarez, Castro, Ho Ci Minh, Kyaw Zaw, Kadar, Kim Sung II, Mijal..........

      As Stalin said :"A single deat is a tragedy; a m illion deaths are a statistic!!!"

      March 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Shane

      Yes, "Faithful".....WARS! Learn your history. The Catholic church commanded, and still does to a certain degree how people deal with each other and other countries. Haven't you heard of holy wars?! Europe knows very well, Iran, Iraq, Syria-Al know very well about religion and wars and how in the name of religion wars are fought. And stop calling people names when you are the one who is a fool.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Shane

      Also, Genius, some of those "atheists" you trotted out actually did believe there was some sort of spiritual "being" and two of them actually did believe in a religion.... look it up.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  12. SPENCER

    The catholic church is run be a mens club that makes decisions for people whose lives are very different from theirs.They do not play the game but want to make the rules. What gets to me they have terrible shame they hide but they blow a smoke screen hoping we do not see it.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Do not bash the Church teachings which have been around since the time of Moses.
      The Church remains faithful to its teachings anchored it is Canons, Laws, Doctrines.
      The Church will not bend to popular trends as God remains the same through the ages. Humans would like God to change.

      God's laws do not change.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Mosaic law is jewish, not "the church". "The church" didn't appear until less than 2000 years ago.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jadugara

      To quote Keith,...what absolute GARBAGE, the church has changed many times when it was FORCED to. Remember when heretics were BURNED at the stake, was that a popular trend. Remember when people were tortured by the church in ways we cannot discuss in polite society, was that a popular trend. Remember when you could be burned at the stake for the heinous crime of reading the bible in ENGLISH rather than Latin, was that a popular trend.
      Apparently the church no longer does these things, the church was FORCED to respect the rights of human beings, if your god was offended at these changes then you need to find another god.
      People like kcfq58 who are blind, deaf and dumb make me sick...

      March 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Faithful

      AGuest9 – The Jewish Law is the Law of God in the Old Testament. The New Testament began when God sent His Son Jesus to die to redeem us from sin and Hell. Same God – same religion. Although some didn't accept the Second part. Their choice.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  13. jer

    We have become a nation that will join the Chess team and then complain they don't play checkers. Then sue them and force them to become a Chess and Checker Team. Years ago, one would just start a Checker team.
    Idea for you... start a charity group that hands out free birth control to anyone in need of it.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Shane

      I guess you didn't completely read the story. She did go off on her own. It's not her that's the problem, it's the oppressive, bigoted Catholic who needs to change or become irrelevant in the future. People are sick of Its ignorance. Religion is responsible for more wars, deaths, and destruction than any other single source. When people realize that these religious books are fables at the very most, countries will finally come together and the all fighting, hate and discrimination will fade. I know it's just a dream right now, but if enough people start speaking up and taking a stand against oppressive religions, it just might work.

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

      If the catholic church doesn't want to play by the rules everyone else plays by then it should NOT GET TAX EXEMPTION. Then the fat lazy bishops would start screaming because they would not be able to write off their big comfortable houses or their luxury limousines or their first class air travel. Perhaps they would have to buy donkeys and travel around as their saviour did on the back of an ass.
      Meanwhile the rest of us have to make up the shortfall in tax revenues by paying higher taxes. WHY WHY WHY should I be forced to support this extortion.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Keith – The same old beating of the drum about taking the tax exempt status away from the Church is getting boring. It adds nothing to the discussion other than reflect your obvious bigotry toward Catholics. Why don't you ask that Planned Parenthood lose their tax exempt status since they are responsible for the majority of abortions and contraception in this country.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  14. AGuest9

    This seems to be yet another case of we want to be free and equal. Well, here's how that works. Your government shouldn't enact laws that are discriminatory. Everyone whining about this is asking for discrimination upon their group. "It's good enough for everybody but THEM" is a VERY slippery slope. Be VERY careful of what you are asking!

    March 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Whynenot

    No one denies your access to contraception. But the bishops push back against paying for it. They are right. Soon, they will have to pay for abortions too. And, the Admininstration pushes forward to force others to pay for it. They are right. All forms of health care should be free for all, to make a better society. Both sides can't be right, but both sides can be wrong.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Keith

      Why am I as a taxpayer forced to support this repulsive organization who gets away without PAYING ANY TAXES. The resulting short fall in tax revenue is made up by all of us who DO pay taxes. If they don't like playing by the rules then they can renounce their tax exempt status.
      Incidentally non of the catholic so called "DEEPLY HELD TENETS OF FAITH" are sacred, they no longer burn heretics at the stake, they no longer torture atheists like myself with red hot pokers. They no longer burn people for the heinous crime of reading the bible in ENGLISH. Invading christian armies no longer slaughter whole civilizations for not believing in a christian god as the Spanish did in South America.
      So why do they terrorize women with the threat of withholding life saving drugs, what kind of a church is this and more to the point what kind of a god allows this tyranny to continue.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Keith – Are you suggesting that contraception is a life saving drug. Isn't that a contradiction since it can cause abortions which is death?

      March 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  16. steve

    Why should anyone be be required to give anything to anyone else for free?

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

      I guess you think it's OK to give someone MORE welfare because they popped out yet another kid?

      March 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • TAK

      So why don't you forfeit all your health coverage? Ah, suddenly not so black and white, is it?

      March 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  17. rob

    Anonymous' view of "religious liberty" is stunningly self severing.

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

      Are you high?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  18. Rob

    I think it should be covered like any perscription if for medical use, but you should have to pay a copay like all other perscriptions too. If it is just for prevention, than pay full prce like men pay for condoms. Everyone wants everything for free.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • M

      You're kidding right? Do you even know how much birth control costs without insurance? Condoms are MUCH cheaper than birth control pills/shots. Paying $20 for a box of condoms is not the same as the $90 a month quoted in the article.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  19. kcfq58

    People want to have s3x without the consequences.
    Well the Ten Commandments have been around well before Jesus.
    One of them stated you shalt not commit adultry. ( Simple no s3x out of marriage.)
    Today society will make us believe that that type of relation is OK.
    But to God this is akin to murder as all ten commandments are equal.
    The Church teaches this for the past 2000 years and does not waiver to fashion trends.

    Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Dave

      I can't wait until your generation dies. The world will be a better place.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Dave you will wait a long time you will probably be the one to go first.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Shane

      It is ignorant comments like this that do so much harm. Religion is responsible for more wars, deaths, and destruction than any other single source. When people realize that these religious books are fables at the very most, countries will finally come together and the all fighting, hate and discrimination will fade. I know it's just a dream right now, but if enough people start speaking up and taking a stand against oppressive religions, it just might work.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • mw1979

      Dave: Waiting for someone to die? You must really hate those who disagree with you. That's very sad. If you really are a younger person, I hope that others your age exhibit more patience and wisdom than you do. Or perhaps you will learn more as you grow up? I certainly hope so. Hate can strain you psychologically and there's no sense in doing that to yourself. The things in life that you truly can't control are hard enough to fathom at times. Just let it go.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Marc

      what the hell is "s3x"?

      March 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • TAK

      Dave, I wholeheartedly agree. There is a group of people so mentally stunted they belong in the stone age, not the 21st century.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Marc, he thinks he's a hax0r.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Law

      The same Law from which the 10 commandments came also says that disobedient children should be stoned, that anyone who commits adultery should be stoned, that anyone who breaks the Sabbath should be stoned, etc. Do you follow those laws as well, or do you pick and choose which of God's laws of follow?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      S#x outside of marriage isn't wrong. Prove otherwise without using the Bible, kcfq58, because I don't believe your superst itions.

      Your 'commandments' only matter to people who believe in your nonsense; they are not laws and they don't matter one whit in this country. This is a secular nation and one of laws, not religious mumbo-jumbo.

      Grow a brain.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Rusty

      This is laughable, church's change their doctrines and teachings all the time to keep up with society. Just look at the changes in catholicism in the past couple of decades. Or the mormon church. How do you think Romney came to be such a flip flopper, he is a member of the largest flip flop organization around.

      March 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  20. Roxy

    "My passion for these issues comes from Catholic social teaching. From my Catholic grammar school to my Catholic high school, I absorbed these teachings into my DNA."

    The truth does not have contradictions and this article has contradictions written all over. You can't say "I absorbed these teachings into your DNA" because one does not live what is being preach. The mind can absorbed many teaching but that does not mean we are living them. Humility is require and that is not teach at schools, but by living a life of prayer and so on. I am no longer surprise to see our Catholic church, Pope, Bishops, Priest and religious being crucified from within. Just a confirmation I have to pray and work harder. God Bless.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Pro-choice former Catholic Mom

      The only people being crucified have been little boys and girls – let's not forget all the little deaf boys.

      March 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.