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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. Keith

    Texdoc, if you are a Texas doctor please let us know who you are so we can avoid you like the plague. According to your logic if someone goes out hunting with a gun and accidentally shoots themselves then their health insurance should not cover that. If you are playing with your children and little Johnny falls down bangs his head then a visit to hospital should not be covered. After all these types of event are, to use your own words "routine and daily needs".
    What kind of human being are you? the kind of illnesses these women have experienced are hardly "routine and daily needs" they are life threatening, DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE?
    In any case like it or not unwanted pregnancies are a lot more expensive for society than BIRTH CONTROL
    Try joining the human race BEFORE making any more ludicrous statements.

    March 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Burt

      Moron did you bother to check the facts about how many cases that actually use BC are for reasons other than the purpose of BC itself?

      March 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      People who use the "we should not have to pay for other people's lifestyle choices" argument for not covering contraceptives are overlooking the fact that the majority of treatment paid for under healthcare plans could be attributed to lifestyle choices. In addition to the things you mentioned, one could argue (using their logic) that the following should not be covered: Treatment for car accident victims (driving is a choice), on-the-job injuries (one chooses where one works), mugging victims (one chooses where one goes), sports injuries (sports participation is optional), military injuries (one didn't have to enlist), etc., etc. If coverage of lifestyle related conditions were eliminated, only natural causes conditions would be covered. People who believe in that should visit some third-world countries where healthcare is very limited to see what that looks like. Notice the enormous number of malnourished children and youth, notice the high number of children caring for parents dying of AIDS and the high number of AIDS orphans, notice the high number of people with physical deformities, missing and damaged body parts, suppurating wounds, etc. In third-world countries these things result from poverty and go largely untreated because healthcare is unaffordable, but every condition I listed is something that could occur from common lifestyle choices in this country. To those who want to deny coverage of "lifestyle" related conditions I say be careful what you wish for.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  2. kcfq58

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

    Thou shall not kill.
    Thou shall not commit adultry. (no s3x outside of marriage)

    Those are commandments given by God to Moses.
    Why does man want to change those and bash the Church that upholds them.

    Abstinence and there is no need of the pill. Hedonism leads to Hell!

    March 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  3. No fool

    What happened to my comment? I don't see it. Was it censored?

    March 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      No fool, - There is a silly automatic word filter here. Your post will never appear. Go back an check it for:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      March 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  4. Grace Burson

    I apologize for not reading all the comments (I don't have time!) but I would humbly encourage anyone who loves the liturgy and the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church, but is disenchanted with the hierarchy and its recent skewed priorities and poor decisions, who nevertheless wants to be part of a loving Christian community, to take a serious look at the Episcopal Church (of which I am a priest). When we say "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" on our signs, we mean it. Our thinking has moved with the times on matters like birth control and the roles of women, while remaining faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wish the Roman Catholic Church could remain a home for people of independent judgment who desire to serve God in society, but as long as it does not appear to be offering such a welcome, I pray that their energy and love of God can find a home in another church rather than being lost in disillusionment and burnout.

    March 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • kcfq58

      God on the other hand does not move with the Evil ones times. God remains steadfast.
      The Catholic Church upholds God's law through and through.
      One reason women cannot be priests Jesus had the perfect priestess in His Mother and she was not chosen to be an apostle.
      Why then does man need to be misguided and have women priests when it is not in God's plan?
      If the Episcopal church promotes adultry then it is not of God but of Satan. This by promoting contraception.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Pro-choice former Catholic Mom

    It has been interesting to read these responses. To those who said that they "would pray for me." Please don't. It makes me slightly sick to even think of it. I certainly won't waste my time praying for you. When you say that to someone the way that you did – you are really putting the other person down. I have a problem with that. God and Christianity should never be used as a weapon against another person. Jesus never said "Hey, let's use the concept of God to deny equality and justice to certain people!" Especially women, gays, poor people, and anybody else who doesn't agree with us. I recently walked by a nondenominational chapel where I work. I work for a hospital. The sign above the door says, "Everyone is welcome here." I love that sign. It is such a welcome, warm, and inviting place. No judgement – just welcome. I believe that this should be the true message of Christianity.
    To any athiests: I believe unequivically that you can be a good, moral, honest and ethical person and still be an athiest. I can't believe that Jesus was frightened by athiests. We know that you can be a terrible human being and still flaunt your religion. I wouldn't doubt that there are many good athiests in heaven! And I believe that there are many preists in hell.
    To all those who are of the Rick Santorum mindset. I have a message for you: Before you worry about the speck of sand that you THINK might be in my eye – worry about the plank sticking out of your own. Pray for yourselves! You are the ones that really need it.

    March 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Keith

      AND RELIGION IS? How blind do you have to be to deliberately delude yourself that religion which means blind unquestioning belief in a non-existent supernatural being is better than a reasoned and informed approach that encourages you to ask hard questions and to not accept the usual mindless answers.
      I have written hundreds of posts asking hard questions and I guess I should stop wasting my time because I know what "answers" I will get before they arrive.
      I have managed to get the Bishop of Nashville to respond to an e-mail I sent him but his answer is the kind of insulting and patronizing answer that you would use to shut up a noisy child, you know "Hush, hush now and go away and play". These kinds of veiled insults are all I tend to get, are these people afraid of me or are they afraid of facing reality. I think it's both.
      They are pathetic.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Jesus

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

      March 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jesus

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

      March 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  7. Reality

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

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

    Maybe selling Pill-enriched sodas??? Hmmm?

    Condom-fitted briefs for men?? Hmmm?

    The door is open for other ideas!!!

    March 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      Your comment, while well intended, overlooks some facts. Contraceptives are available by prescription only because they are not a "one-size-fits-all" medication. Different kinds have different effects on different women. Unlike condoms which are an external application, contraceptives have a chemical effect on a woman's body. Both condoms and contraceptive medications should be covered by healthcare plans, and people would be wise to use them in combination. Condoms have a contraceptive failure rate of a little over 14% and contraceptive pills have a failure rate of approximately 5%. Barrier type female contraceptive devices have failure rates in the 20%–25% range.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Kaylee

      Also, you have forgotten that the birth control pill provides no protection from STDs. Only barrier methods provide at least partial protection.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Keith

      Well intended! you must be joking. This is typical mindless sneering and insulting response from a Rush Limbaugh wannabee. The responder obviously has not read some of the heart rending stories of women who need the drugs for health reasons NOT birth control and have great difficulty in affording them. Read the story on the CNN website of such a woman who had to get a letter from her doctor then be grilled by the HR director who asked very personal questions. Another woman was made to wait for 90 days before getting her interview and a final but reluctant OK. The 90 days wait caused the woman great anxiety and pain. Both worked for the catholic church and left the church over it's callous disregard for the well being of their employees. What would Jesus have done, would he have asked for a doctors letter and then make them wait for permission?
      Come on answer my question WWJD.

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

      ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

      The reality of contraception and STD control: (from a guy who enjoys intelligent s-ex)

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

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate- typical rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate- typical rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

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

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

      1.One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      2.Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      3.The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      4.Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      5.IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      6.Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      7.Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      8.Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      March 18, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  8. Ghost writer

    Whoever you are- you made no sense whatsover in your article.

    FAIL!

    March 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  9. Thinks2010

    Catholic women should reduce their donations to the church by their annual contraceptive costs. If they do not usually donate that much money but do any volunteer work for the church, they should cut back on their volunteer time (based on the equivalent value of that work if it were paid).

    March 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  10. anon

    This woman believes in her position. We should let her know how much she means to the cause. Oh wait, we can't because she didn't believe enough to post her name, if it was a she.
    .....
    "Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness."
    Mother Teresa

    March 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  11. tony

    The tax-exemption allowed for spreading fantasy is absolutely criminal. I suspect there is enough money in just recovering that to provide basic universal health care for all Americans. Now that really would be the action of a caring, loving god.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  12. Thinks2010

    The Catholic Church should stop using the words woman and women when referring to females and just start using the word that best describes how they view women–incubator(s).

    March 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  13. Greg

    I think the federal government should force my employer's health plan pay for my cell phone – 'cause I really want it. And...um...if I got hurt at an isolated location while hiking/climbing in the back country and needed to call for help, I'd need the cell phone. So, see, my cell phone is important to my health. The cost should be spread to everyone on my employer's health plan – Its unfair for me to have to pay for it out of my own pocket.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      @Greg–Your cell phone is not part of your body. A woman's reproductive system is part of her body. If you lose your cell phone, you can ask someone to help you out by lending you a phone or placing a call for you. If a woman becomes pregnant, she cannot ask anyone else to help her out with that. You can replace your cell phone pretty quickly with not physical or mental cost to you. A woman has to carry a child for nine months (and go through all the bodily changes that involves) then has to go through the physically stressful act of giving birth, or she can make the painful choice of having an abortion. Replacing your cell phone does not place your life or health at risk. Pregnancy and childbirth place a woman's health and life at risk. You really don't have to take care of your cell phone for life. A parent is responsible for a child for life (or at least until the child reaches the age of consent). So you see, full reproductive healthcare (including contraceptives) is important to a woman's health and is not a luxury. Your cell phone is clearly a convenience.

      March 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  14. Thinks2010

    Any employer who mandates that its healthcare plan must not cover contraceptives should, by law, be deemed ineligible for any tax benefit/credit for paying for its employee healthcare plan(s) in part or in full. This would not impact religious employers as they already are tax exempt, however, it would impact those nonsectarian employers who pay 50% or more of the cost of their employee healthcare plans.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  15. jj

    Religious objections? How phony! What if your Jewish boss demanded you work on Sunday? It's not a holy day for them. What of the Adventist company, who didn't believe in physical health care at ALL??? There are so many examples, I'm shocked they can get away with this. I agree with the article – the bishops just want to get rid of the pill – period. And if it's used to cure other problems... TOO BAD!

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

      Then you are free to get a different job.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  16. carlo

    How about finding a new job, you know the rules of the church! The Catholic Church should NOT change their rules because someone wants to take birthcontrol!!!! It has been that way for centuries!

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

      Yet, 98% of women use them. Including Catholics. Businesses pay taxes – and their church is nothing more than a business. 60% of the offerings go to Rome. Some to help people, too much to fund their temples and the lavish lifestyle of the hierarchy.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • MikeyNYC

      Far be it from me to even sound as if I support the Catholic Church, but you knew the church's position on various issues, including birth control, yet you considered your options and believed that the good works that you and other Catholics do via the church was worthwhile. If you disagree with the church's position, you have other options, such as finding other employment or remaining where you are and attempting to change the church's position from the inside. Catholics, by vast majority, don't support the church's position on birth control, yet they remain part of the church as you have done. If you have dedicated your life to helping those less fortunate than yourself, you must know that there are many other charitable organizations besides the church where your help would be appreciated and you would not have to compromise your beliefs or your faith.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Sara

      Do you even know WHY the catholic church outlawed birth control? Do some research, you may be surprised at the LACK of morality in the reasons behind that decision.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Annie's Daughter

      I am Catholic and female and I love my Church. I disagree that the Church sees women as inferior. Look at the honor and devotion that is given to the Blessed Virgin Mary. No other church elevates women to this level. I know there are many deeply spiritual women who would aspire to be priests within the Church. Jesus Christ while on earth involved women in his ministry but He did not make them apostles or designate them to lead the Church. I feel sad some women feel marginalized by the Church because there are many key roles they can assume that produces good fruit.
      As to the contraception issue – as a young wife I went against the Church and used birth control. And, for reasons I cannot state here, I will tell you I have deep regrets. Seek God with your whole heart, mind and soul and your answer shall be given.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Well let me say this about that

      Mormon and Islamic women don't think of themselves as inferior either. That's what happens when you drink the bathwater of religion – you develop such heavy filters of ideology over your eyes that you cannot see reality anymore. It's obvious to everyone else.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  17. Greg

    No one is imposing their religious beliefs on you – forcing you to adopt them. No, you are free to think what you want, and to go work for someone else. You apparently don't to make a choice between an employer and a health care plan you like, so you want someone else to force your employer to change so you can avoid making such a choice. Well tough, the world doesn't revolve around what you want.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • K D

      Umm...so based on this there should be no EEO laws, since you should simply go and find somebody else to work for?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Greg

      Certainly no laws mandating someone's luxuries be paid for by other people.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So medication is a luxury now?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Greg

      Some medication is a most certainly a luxury. For example, if mediation treats or prevents a condition that is avoidable by the recipient with use of that medication, and without making them less physically healthy, then yes, its luxury.

      Think otherwise? Think every health plan should be forced to cover any medical expense, because something is not a luxury if it is medical-related? Then go ahead and advocate forced coverage of all cosmetic surgery for example. I'd like to see if anyone takes that seriously.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      @Greg–They are only luxuries to you because you cannot get pregnant nor can you suffer from the other medical conditions they treat.

      Suppose you are working for an employer who, as part of your agreed upon compensation, pays in part or in full for a healthcare plan that covers full reproductive healthcare (which would include contraceptives). Suppose also that you have based your retirement plans on your company's pension plan. Now suppose that your company hires a new CEO or is sold and changes hands and the new CEO or owner change the healthcare plan of all his employees to one that does not cover contraceptives based on his moral or religious beliefs. Consider this: 1) He has now imposed his religious belief about contraceptives on all his employees whether they agree with him or not. 2) Part of your agreed upon compensation has been changed without any input from you. 3) If you cannot afford the cost of your prescribed contraceptives without healthcare plan coverage, you will either need a raise or you will need to change jobs. 4) If you change jobs, you will loose the pension upon which you have based your retirement plans. 5) If you are unable to find work quickly or work that pays the same or more as the job you are leaving, your lifetime earnings will be negatively impacted (as will the amount of Social Security you receive). 6) If you live in a small town or a remote area, you may not be able to find a new job unless you and your family (if you have one) move. Moving is costly. Moving would require you sell your house if you own one. Moving would mean pulling your children out of their school(s) and away from their friends. Moving means you will be leaving the community and friends you like behind. If you have family with whom you are close in the area, you will be moving away from them. If you are married, your spouse will have to find a new job if you move.

      So you see, Greg, that it is very easy to say just change jobs, but doing so is not always easy and can have adverse impacts on the worker and his/her family. Why should a non-sectarian employer have such a great impact on the lives of his employees simply because he holds different religious beliefs.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then we can count on you, Greg, to wear a con dom to prevent your partner from getting pregnant?

      March 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are really going to compare cosmetic surgery with contraception? Really?

      You are daft.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Keith

      So no one should have tried to make the catholic church stop BURNING PEOPLE at the stake, or torturing people with red hot irons , or burning them because they committed the hideous crime of reading the bible in ENGLISH.
      You people are sick.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, that's what I figured. Greg won't use a rubber because it interferes with his pleasure.

      Moron.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  18. daskala

    Catholic priests and Bishops have no idea what it takes to raise children day in and day out...they have to believe what they preach....but we do not, because we have our minds and our hearts, and our experience. I would love to take a survey of Catholic women and ask them to be honest, and answer the question..."do you practice birth control by taking the pill?" I wonder what the answer will truly be? Hm.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  19. TexDoc

    The catholic church has not asked for any woman to have her access to contraception denied; they simply don't want to pay for it. I don't think that's unreasonable. Contraception is a ongoing daily need, like food or cell phone. It's not health care. Insurance is there to protect us from catastrophe–total financial ruin in the face of an illness. It should not be used ot pay for routine and daily needs.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Someone

      agreed

      March 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • K D

      The church is not having to pay. That's already accounted for.
      In fact, they are not even having to do that when they are running businesses and, to be fair, should have been held responsible to the same rules as other employers (otherwise, frankly, churches simply should not run businesses)
      They still complain!

      March 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Greg

      Hey yeah – force my employer's health plan pay for my cell phone – 'cause I really want it. And...um...if I got hurt in an isolated location and needed to call for help, I'd need the cell phone. So, see, my cell phone is important to my health.

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

      Same thing with blood pressure medication, cholesterol-lowering medication, and other medications that treat chronic issues. If it's not an emergency, it's not health care.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Pete

      @ TexDoc,I'm getting tired of this routine every 4 years,abortion,and now the new kid on the scene,contraceptives.Insurance coverage takes care of it,plain and simple.If a doctor is asked by his patient for a contraceptive prescription,he doesn't have a right to denile unless it becomes a health issue,in which then he can deny the request.Doctors,as you well know make plenty of money by pharmaceutical companies with their so called KICKBACKS.Their reps shower doctors with meals,gifts,you know as a doctor,if you are one,the rest.These doctors prescribes meds that many times do NOTHING for which they were intended for,just for cash returns from the company reps.So please don't act sanctumonious to us doctor,there's no more hypocratic oath for doctors anymore,just cash....

      March 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Annie's Daughter

      Agreed.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Rabbles the Binx

      Anti-depressants are an "ongoing daily need" so is heart medication, or albuterol, insulin, etc. Should insurance not have to cover that, either?

      March 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TexDoc, that has to be one of the stupidest things I've read about health insurance yet. What special kind of ignorant are you? There are millions of people who have chronic conditions that are only living BECAUSE they take daily medication.

      Do you know no diabetics? No epileptics? No one with heart disease?

      You really have no business here if you are truly that dumb.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  20. SKP70118

    I, too, left the church more than 12 years ago. My employer asked why I had not got pregnant after a year of marriage. In fact, she based my entire job evaulation on it. Funny this was, I physically could not become preganant. My job depended upon being able to reproduce to be a role model for the girls I taught in a Catholic School. I could not take the pressure that was placed on me by my employer year after year. I eventually left the job and quit the Church entirely.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      What you were subjected to is outrageous.

      March 17, 2012 at 5:11 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.