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Key Catholic group drops support for White House contraception plan
The Obama administration wants to require insurance companies to provide free contraception coverage.
June 18th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

Key Catholic group drops support for White House contraception plan

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – The Obama administration’s key Catholic ally on its controversial plan to require health insurers to provide free contraceptive coverage is dropping support for the plan, potentially complicating the president’s relations with Catholics in an election year.

The Catholic Health Association, which comprises 2,000 Catholic hospitals, health systems and related organizations, said Friday that although it had initially supported what the White House called a compromise on the contraception issue, it is now “deeply concerned” about the plan and says the White House “has not relieved our initial concerns.”

Many Catholic groups expressed opposition to the Obama administration’s proposal to require employers to provide free contraception coverage to their employees. Although the plan exempted churches, other religiously affiliated employers - including colleges and hospitals - were not exempt.

In the face of that opposition, the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage, reasoning that would prevent Catholics instructions from having to finance such coverage.

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The so-called compromise won support from certain Catholic groups, most significantly the Catholic Health Association, which calls itself the nation’s largest group of nonprofit health care providers.

“The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions,” Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association, said in a February statement.

But on Friday, the Catholic Health Association sounded a much different line, saying in a letter to the agency that “We remain deeply concerned … with the approach the Administration has taken with respect to contraceptive services, especially abortifacient drugs and sterilization.”

The administration denies that its contraception mandate covers abortifacients - drugs that cause abortions - but some socially conservative groups disagree.

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In its letter, the Catholic Health Association urged the administration to broaden its exemption on the contraceptive mandate to include different kinds of religiously affiliated institutions.

The American Roman Catholic bishops have steadfastly criticized the Health and Human Services rule. The Catholic Health Association’s support for the rule gave the Obama some Catholic political cover in the face of such attacks.

Catholic voters represent one of the largest swing voting blocs in the nation, voting with the winning presidential candidate in every election since the 1970s.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Health care • Politics

soundoff (1,412 Responses)
  1. PR

    Welcome to the dark ages. The catholic church wants women to be barefoot and pregnant and little boys to bend over and let the priest have his way. Catholics embrace pedophiles but do nothing to protect women, and only men can be church leaders. Like a single man knows anything about counseling married couple having problems. A church that is totaly out of touch with reality.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • PaulC

      I see a disturbing similarity between the catholic church and the muslin faith.
      One of the primary goals of any ORGANIZED religion is control of the flock and shear them often.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Kathy

      As a Catholic woman I take offense at many of the comments posted here. I don't agree with the Church's teachings on contraception and am not a religious fanatic but some of the comments show absolute ignorance, are hateful and untrue. For starters,the Catholic church is not anti-women. I have been told repeatedly by priests that contraception is a matter of concience and I am free to use whatever means I feel comfortable with (short of abortion because I consider it infanticide) if my wellfare, that of my marriage or my family is at stake, and still be in full communion with the Church. SECOND- the Church is very much anti-pedophile. A few rotten apples have given it a bad name (and some not-too bright bishops who tried to sweep it under the rug) but they don't represent the legions of good, honest priests who toil with very little thanks both here and in underdeveloped countries. The Obama administration had long ago lost my confidence, but their heavy handed tactics on this issue were the last straw. For the first time in my adult life, I will probably not vote. And other Christian and non-Christian groups look out; if they can force the Catholic Church to provide a service that runs contrary to its convictions, they can do it to other groups as well. The State can only interfere with religious convictions if they are contrary to public policy or morals and the Church's views on contraceptions are neither.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Karen

      You don't have the right to not be offended.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • JFCanton

      What Kathy describes is not the doctrine. But in practice what she describes IS the adjustment to "reality:" there is a big difference between not blessing something and condemning people who do it. It is difficult to see how people can regard themselves as openminded with such a black-and-white mindset of their own.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  2. PaulC

    Do you mean Pres. Obama lost the pedophile block?
    The catholic church in in contention with the muslin faith for the lead in persuasion, oppression and murder.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • jenkoosh

      I think Obama should cancel the $73 trillion in tax exemptions that we give to churches...

      OBAMA TO VATICAN: BEND OVER

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  3. rousch15

    Since the Catholic Church seems content to create poverty by voicing its opposition to birth control, it should be forced to pay for the care of the impoverished children which it creates, including basic shelter and education through college.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • PaulC

      Amen and amen. You have my vote.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • jenkoosh

      Amen.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • capitalismiskool

      Or perhaps they could just "wrap that rascal" or maybe even obstain?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
      • rousch15

        Even St. Paul admitted people have a lack of self-control because of human impulse. Read 1 Corinthians 7:9 and don't bother me.

        June 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
      • rousch15

        Paul wrote that husbands and wives should not abstain.

        Read 2 Corinthians, Chapter 7 and don't bother me.

        March 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Umm... don't they already do that? And pay for the care of lots of people who aren't Catholic? If you don't like government giving money to religious organizations for social work, fine–but be prepared to pay more in taxes for much worse services.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  4. tony

    "Stop the Drones or we'll stop the Polio Vaccination Program".

    Just today's example of the inherent moronic values and evil underlying ALL religious belief. Beware the Spanish Inquisition!

    June 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  5. jenkoosh

    Sounds like Benedict stretched his long, black tentacles out across the Atlantic, and started strangling some hospital administrators ... when are these people going to get smart and ditch Rome and do their own fund-raising?

    June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • sharon

      What?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  6. BigSir

    Catholics are still one of the most backward organizations in the world. They are against birth control for themselves because they want more Catholics on Earth. They should not be exempt from paying for it.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • A Catholic

      Forcing an organization to violate its conscience violates the 1st Amendment.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Dan

      A Catholic: If we let Catholics refuse to cover contraception, should we let Christian Scientists refuse to cover medical care altogether?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • capitalismiskool

      The most backward organization would be the deocratic party.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      So if you happen to work as an employee in a business owned by a Jehovah's Witness, but you yourself don't share their doctrines, can they refuse to cover your life-saving blood transfusion when you are injured?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • tony

      Deocratic LOL. Backward is as backward does.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • A Catholic

      The answer is yes, the Jehovah's Witness and Christians should not have to pay for something that violates their consciences. You know that when you work for them.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dan

      "Then heck, I'll just say I'm a Christian Scientist to get out of paying! Problem solved!"

      Do you see the problem with that?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • JFCanton

      It's much more likely that the wartime gimmick of granting insurance through one's employer is defective, than it is that the right of the employer to decide what benefits are provided is defective.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  7. Laverne

    more concern with contraception than little boys being molested!

    June 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  8. Colin

    Dear Catholics:

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the Centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smited all traditional Catholics, (and evangelicals and fundamentalists) long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for me to contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Ninthly, had I existed, do you really think my representation on Earth would have such a history of corruption, retardation of science, financial misdeeds, political intrigue, outright criminal behavior and $exual misconduct, including pedophilia, as the Vatican does. I mean, come on! As a CEO, I would be fired for allowing my organization to run amok century after century.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    June 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      God, does that mean that a guy named Jonah didn't really survive 3 days in the belly of a whale? But the pop-up books I grew up reading told me so!

      June 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • KdmQ

      Awesome – thanks!

      June 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • DefyTheGods

      No way! This can't be! If you're not real, then who typed up your post, God? I'll bet you thought I'd fall for the old "I don't exist" trick. You should know I'm your number one sycophant! LOL

      June 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Possible, but how much worse is the representation by people in power who do NOT act like they sincerely believe in one of the major religions?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • cnnmembuh

      Colin,

      Nice post. I enjoy your sense of humor. Your calculations regarding the absurdity of being able to hear, let alone answer so many prayers is somewhat irrelevant, though. Consider the infinite universe and eternity itself. Just because you can't get your mind around a subject doesn't mean it is not so or does not exist. Similarly, consider your limitations in trying to "think" like God.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Maddie

      Science is just another thing to make people doubt the truth. So you believe stuff just happens? Wow. That is so ignorant. There is a God.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  9. Obvious Guy

    It's a good thing we have separation of church and state, so the Administration isn't even allowed to make laws or exceptions to the Catholics or any religious group. The law is the law for Americans regardless of religious affiliate or lack there of.

    So if the Catholics don't want contraception, they don't have to take it. But the people who do, should be able to.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • A Catholic

      Seperation of church and state is found nowhere in the Const.itution.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Obvious Guy

      The specific term? No, it doesn't

      But the idea of it is there. But it is really, really sad that this needs to be explained to you. You should probably ask an 8th grader, because I'm sure he can explain it to you if you really need help with your American History.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • cnnmembuh

      They should be able to, but they should not be able to compel me to pay for it. Congress shall make no law with respect to the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof. Forcing churches to participate (even through their insurance premiums) for abortifacients and certain other drugs prohibits the free exercise of a religion which finds such practices morally repugnant.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Obvious Guy

      You don't have to pay for it under Obama's system. It will STILL come out of their paycheck, the same as it always has. Everyone who has insurance generally pays for their own insurance with their paycheck, or from company funds. The Catholics just want to be the exception to the rule, like believing in biological evolution.

      If we have a single payer system, like in normal countries, then it's all thrown in with our taxes. And the good thing about that, is you have no CLUE if your money goes to the healthcare plan or not. Because our individual taxes aren't divided into education, defense, healthcare. It all goes in a lump sum to the government and they use it as they please.

      And just think, without those people being healthy, your business, profession, job, whatever, wouldn't be successful without those people spending money, money they only have if they're healthy.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  10. Pat in IL

    The Vatican is so unbelievably out of touch with reality that it's actually becoming dark ages-scary.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  11. John

    As for "Churches are exempt, since Insurers will be paying for it" – Guess you don't know most churches are "self-insured", meaning they are the insurance companies, and will be paying for it!!!

    June 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Dan

      You misunderstand. Churches are exempt from the requirement altogether. Catholic organizations that serve a secular function, however, are not

      June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • John

      Dan,

      I work for a church and we will have to pay for it. We are NOT exempt.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  12. Johnson

    Catholic Hospitals probably have 80% of their employees female. 100% of these in childbearing age use or have used contraception. Nuns are on record as supporting; however, US Nuns have recently been scolded by the Vatican for being too kind to the poor. And, how many of we Catholics listen to the Bishops anymore? Not many. Even most Priests will vote for Obama when in the privacy of the Booth. We can only imagine the horrors of a Romney Administration with its Mormon values.

    June 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      You should never vote for someone based on their religion. Romney did nothing as governor of MA to suggest that he would allow his Mormon faith to dictate policy.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Contraceptive use is high (but uh, not 100%) in the current childbearing generation because it has been pushed by the medical profession. And that doesn't represent all the women voting, obviously...

      June 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  13. mb2010a

    So what are they going to do?? Are they all going to vote for Romney instead...talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    June 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • A Catholic

      Yes, we will vote for Romney. At least he believes in religious freedom.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Debbie

      They probably will vote for Romney.....Not a smart group.....They don't fight this hard when the Pastors sleep with boys.....

      June 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Obvious Guy

      Well, @A Catholic.

      A) So does Obama, despite what FoxNews tells you

      B) As a Mormon, technically Romney would try to convert you to his religion, as Mormons follow the TRUE teachings of Jesus Christ

      C) Chances are, since Romney is a Mormon, he probably has several wives and will probably force polygamy on the entire country. After all, that is why is Grandfather originally moved to Mexico, so he can have multiple wives.

      So go ahead and vote for the Mormon, and son the White House will turn into that weird futuristic church in Utah and we'll all be wearing special underwear.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Tom

      @ObviousGuy

      "As a Mormon, technically Romney would try to convert you to his religion, as Mormons follow the TRUE teachings of Jesus Christ"

      Show me one religion that isn't apostolic and believe they know the truth. Even Atheists try to convert people to atheism and "know" they have the correct handle on the truth.

      "Chances are, since Romney is a Mormon, he probably has several wives and will probably force polygamy on the entire country."

      Demonstrably false. Besides, it appears that the people with the most intolerance of Romney's faith is the liberals.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Obvious Guy

      @Tom

      Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, I can keep going, but I won't.

      And I've never asked to see his birth certificate or never thought he wasn't American based on the color of his skin or what his name sounds like. I would just like to see his marriage certificate, the LONG FORM version, so we all know he's not a polygamist like typical Mormons are. Ever see the show Sister-Wives? Watch it and tell me we shouldn't fear these people.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Tom

      And I've never asked to see his birth certificate or never thought he wasn't American based on the color of his skin or what his name sounds like."

      Neither have I or the majority of Americans. And, just so you know, Mormans are not typically polygamist. In fact, the LDS is adamant against it... to the point they will excommunicate anyone who preaches or practices it.

      But, just as there were extreme right-wingers who feared Obama's faith, there will be left-wingers who will fear Romney's. Have at it if it makes you feel better.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Repeating the idea that Romney is a polygamist (even if it IS just a dumb joke about Obama's birth certificate) is a pretty effective way of destroying one's credibility to say anything logical.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  14. John Patrick Grace

    The bishops blew this years ago when they laid back and did not attempt to convey the moral thinking of Pope Paul VI in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. Without a critical understanding of this moral issue, Catholic women simply went ahead with their lives and massively indulged in artificial birth control. Now, yea these many years later, the bishops have been attempting to sound the alarm on "the evils of contraception." It's a bit late in the game, people. Even today it's extremely hard to find a Catholic pastor who will openly preach on the tenets of Humanae Vitae. Rail against the Obama administration's "assault on religious liberty," yes; outright preach against contraception, no.

    John Patrick Grace
    Huntington, West Virginia

    June 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  15. mandarax

    Does anyone else find it ironic that an organization that sends missionaries to convince people in AIDS-ridden parts of the world not to use protection claims to have a conscience?

    June 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Dan

      It's very ironic

      June 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Goose66

      You evidently neither understand the mission of the Catholic church or the meaning of the word "irony."

      June 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Dan

      Goose, it's ironic because the Catholic church discouraged people from doing something that might have actually saved lives. Really loving. You people have a lot to answer for

      June 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      LOL @ Goose, what?! Actually it fits the work IRONY to a tee.
      Perhaps the theophiles don't know as much as they THINK they know.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "I hope [Catholic charities are] doing a lot of work in Africa. If I was a member of a church that had preached that AIDS was not as bad as condoms, I would be putting some conscience money into Africa too, I must say. ... It won't bring back the millions of people who have died wretched deaths because of that teaching, that still goes on.
      Christopher Hitchens

      June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Goose66

      First - "you people?" Why would think I am Catholic? Secondly, if you understand the Catholic Church and their teachings, then spreading this message through missionaries would be expected - thus not ironic. I think the term you are looking for is "hypocritical," not "ironic."

      June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Dan

      Goose, the irony is that the Catholic Church hopes to save lives but really ends up taking them. Also "you people" was meant to refer to those who have completely abdicated their responsibility to critical thought

      June 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Goose66

      "Actually it fits the work IRONY to a tee." Maybe if you get your definition of irony from Alanis Morisette. If a Catholic missionary were spreading the message of the proper method of birth control and then ended up getting a woman pregnant because he used birth control in the wrong way - that would be ironic.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Goose66 –

      The actions by the Catholic church to which mandarax refers are both hypocritical (behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case) and ironic (a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects).

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Dan

      Lololol, according to the Catholic Church the "proper" method of birth control is the one that fails and causes unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Really humanitarian of them

      June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • JFCanton

      This all assumes that their GOAL is to discourage use of "protection" (specifically condoms). Their goal is to provide services on a much broader basis than that. From their point of view of trying to teach a holistically better lifestyle, it would be more hypocritical to provide the short-cut that condoms represent-MUCH more, given that the condoms are available from practically every other aid agency.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • mandarax

      Just for the record (and to defend myself against being lumped in with Alanis Morisette!) the intended irony was that of one's "conscience" leading them to expose hundreds of thousands of people to a potentially fatal syndrome.

      June 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      Your original assertion regarding irony was both accurate and precise.

      Cheers

      June 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  16. HarveyYaz

    Religious freedom is not the right to impose one's religious views on others.

    June 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Tom

      Didn't Obama just impose his religious view (or lack thereof) on Catholic employers?

      June 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • mandarax

      How does one impose a lack of religious view? That's what the first amendment demands.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • mb2010a

      No, he didn't...

      June 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      NO Tom. So long as these groups TAKE FEDERAL MONEY (which they ALL do), they are NOT allowed to impose their rules on folks they employ. WHEN YOU TAKE FEDERAL MONEY you must follow the rules the federal government lays out for how that money is used.
      Don't want to violate your 'religious principles' on how to tell others to live? Fine, don't take MY MONEY to do it!

      June 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Tom

      Fred, the Catholic Church has no rule that says their employees cannot use contraception. Nice falsehood.

      You and many others (presumably liberal) cannot discern with the supposed right to have and the supposed right to have for free.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • JFCanton

      The federal government does not have unlimited authority to make rules, though. If they can't prevent you from getting a bad car loan, why should they be allowed to prevent you from making the probably-bad decision to save a few bucks on contraception?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  17. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Why is it so OK and so heart-warming to Catholics to hormonally manipulate women through medications when your goal is to induce fertility in those women who have been unable to conceive through "God's natural intentions," and yet it is wrong to hormonally manipulate women who choose to DELAY pregnancy until the time is right for them?

    June 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      Shhh, common sense and logic is not invited to discussions about Catholicism.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Sidewinder

      Maybe it's the same train-wreck of thought that some religious organizations use to prohibit their employees from becoming pregnant through artificial means. Now isn't that strange? Can't have babies, want to have babies, can't do invetro. What's up with that? You think they would jump up and down for that procedure. Remember the lady who recently got fired from the church she worked at because she got preggers in other than the old fashioned way. And why don't more religious groups encourage adoption?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • JFCanton

      They're very consistent. Natural, yes. Unnatural, no. Hardly a trainwreck...

      http://www.catholicinfertility.org/guidelines.html

      June 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  18. t3chn0ph0b3

    Is it just me or is Rome trying to make sure the Catholic church emerges as the largest hate group in the world? They seem to hate women, gays, doctors, politicians.

    They love little boys, though. I'll give them that.

    June 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  19. Mike Texoma

    The Catholic Church is not a monolith. Rank and file parishoners routinely practice birth control – and I do not refer to the rythim method. The senior white men who rung the place may yank the wheel to the right in the effort to gain control, but it will not long succeed.

    June 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  20. rockysfan

    If you think that loosing this ally looses the support of Catholics, you are sorely mistaken. 70% of women in the Catholic church of child bearing age practice birth control and believe it should be available to all women at all times. So, think again when you think that just because a priest or Rome says it so doesn't make it such.

    June 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      You are correct and you speak for many.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Goose66

      But there is a difference between the drugs being available for women of all creeds and forcing the Catholic church to pay for the drugs, right? Are you suggesting that no women understand and acknowledge that very significant difference?

      June 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Dan

      Goose, the Catholic Church's ARE NOT paying for it. That was the point of the compromise, the insurance companies are now forced to cover it free of charge

      June 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Tom

      Obama's plan does nothing to increase availability of birth control to women who work for Catholic employers. All it does is shift who has to pay for it – from the employees to the employer.

      And don't even try to say "but insurance companies will offer it for free!" – nothing is free. The costs will be back-doored into the premiums of the employers (or, ironically, their workers).

      So, women will have gained little, and the loss of religious rights is much much greater.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Dan

      But Tom, surely the premiums that catholic organizations pay to insurance companies is already being used in some form to pay for someone's contraception.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Goose66

      Dan, do you honestly think that "insurance companies providing it for free" means the Catholic Church is not paying for it? Come on dude, you can read and use a computer - you can't be that obtuse!

      June 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tom

      In the same way that a priest who fills up there gas at an Exxon is supporting terrorism in the middle east, perhaps?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • grist

      Insurance companies WANT to cover contraception because having a baby and the healthcare costs of babies is way more expensive than birth control. The compromise is a win-win situation except for those of us who believe that an employer performing a secular function should have to adhere to all of the labor laws, including standard healthcare which includes contraception.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Dan

      My point Goose, is that as things stand the Catholic Church is already paying for someone's contraception through the premiums they pay to their insurance company. How is that any different?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Tom

      @grist – BS – if they wanted to, they would have done it years ago. Why does the Obama plan "force" the insurance companies to pick up the cost?

      @Dan – your insinuation is that an indirect association is somehow the same as a direct association.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Dan

      But Tom, in an earlier post you yourself argued taht an indirect association WAS the same as a direct association!!!

      "And don't even try to say "but insurance companies will offer it for free!" – nothing is free. The costs will be back-doored into the premiums of the employers (or, ironically, their workers)."

      You need to be more consistent

      June 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Tom

      OK, I will try to clarify. Regardless of whether or not the costs are covered by the Catholic employer or by the insurance company they are paying premiums to, the costs will be ultimately be borne by the Catholic employer through higher premiums. Thus, they will be paying for the costs associated with providing contraception coverage – direct association. The insurance company is not going to just chalk it up as a loss... if that's what you're thinking.

      Your argument is that somehow the premiums paid by the Catholic employer are somehow going to pay for contraception coverage for another person not employed by the Catholic employer – which is an indirect association.

      I hope that clears it up for you.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Dan

      That seems like a very stupid distinction. Presumably the insurance companies will raise premiums eqully on everyone to cover the contraception mandate, so any catholic organization that pays those new premiums is still paying for birth control. Why does it matter whether it is their employee or not?

      June 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Tom

      "Presumably the insurance companies will raise premiums eqully on everyone to cover the contraception mandate"

      So, your assumption is that the insurance premiums will be the same whether or not the policy has contraception coverage? Because... if the Catholic employers are not getting some sort of break on their coverage because it doesn't currently contain that coverage, then it's a moot point all around.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Dan

      I doubt that they are getting any kind of break, but I may be wrong. After all, the insurance company is providing the contraception, and although it may be reflected in increased premiums, presumably these increased premiums would apply to everyone equally.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Tom

      "I doubt that they are getting any kind of break, but I may be wrong." Well, that needs to be clarified one way or another.

      "although it may be reflected in increased premiums, presumably these increased premiums would apply to everyone equally."

      Usually in business an increase in cost associated with a service results in that cost being passed on to the person receiving the service. (e.g. if Verizon suddenly sees a cost rise in the FIOS hardware installed at the house, they're not going to raise prices across the board to pay for the increased FIOS costs... those will get passed on directly to the FIOS customers.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Dan

      Right, which is my point; even if they are exempted, Catholic organizations will be forced to pay for birth control already through their increased premiums. All they want is to deny contraception coverage to their employees, even though it wouldn't cost them a dime more.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Tom

      You say "right" like you agree with me then state exactly the opposite?

      Theoretically if their coverage remains the same, their premium remains the same. If an insurance company has to start covering contraception for a person, they will pass the costs onto that person... not to someone else who is not getting that coverage.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:58 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.