contraception

An empty contraceptive pill container. Image via Wylio http://bit.ly/AEEpk5.

An empty contraceptive pill container. Image via Wylio http://bit.ly/AEEpk5.

A majority of Americans — including Catholics — believe that employers should be required to provide employee health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost, according to a new survey.

But the research by the Public Religion Polling Institute shows that when it comes to providing religious exemptions from free contraceptive coverage – something the White House is sharply criticized for failing to do – the public is much more divided.

The Catholic bishops have slammed the Obama administration in recent weeks, urging priests to read letters from the pulpit blasting a new Health & Human Services rule that will require some Catholic institutions, such as universities, to cover employees' contraceptive costs. 

On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued "Six Things Everyone Should Know About the HHS Mandate." Included on the list was, "Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate."

The survey released today, however, paints a more nuanced picture.

Duane Shank 01-30-2012
Conscientious objectors rally in Germany. Image via Getty Images.

Peace activists support Iraq war veteran and now conscientious objector Agustin Aguayo. Photo by Getty Images.

One of the U.S. Constitution's difficult balances is found in the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

What happens when those two values conflict?

That is the issue with the controversy over whether religiously-affiliated organizations should be required to offer free coverage for contraception in health insurance plans made available to employees. Those opposed — most notably Catholic organizations — claim that this requirement would violate their freedom of conscience. Those who support it claim that exempting religiously-affiliated organizations would establish a religion over the rights of individuals.

Jim Wallis 11-16-2009
The following is a memo Jim Wallis has provided to leaders throughout the nation concerning the ongoing issue of abortion within the health care reform debate and the need to find common ground
Cesar Baldelomar 09-29-2009
As a struggling Catholic, the uproar and division caused by conservative U.S.
John Gehring 03-25-2009
When both the Left and Right begin sharpening their knives, it means you are on to something.
Jim Wallis 03-12-2009
I have written about http://blog.sojo.net/2008/10/13/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-seeking-comm..." href="https://sojo.net/../2008/10/13/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-seeking-comm
Jim Wallis 01-23-2009
I am encouraged that President Obama's first action on abortion was to release a statement supporting a common ground approach to reducing abortion, even as he also reiterated his policy of support

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