Religious freedom should be protected for religious institutions

Feb. 25, 2013

Samantha Morley
smorley2@uccs.edu

Religious employers should not be forced to cover birth control. By agreeing to practice a certain religion, individuals are typically expected to follow certain rules.

Catholics, for example, usually adhere to the mindset of being against birth control. They believe it was God’s will that a woman got pregnant and that she should carry through with what has been decided.

Since America is a country that promotes religious freedom, Catholic churches should be exempted from having to provide birth control. Only women who aren’t employed by religious institutions should be covered.

In late 2011, the Obama administration set forth guidelines requiring nearly all health insurance plans to cover the total cost of birth control methods. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 89 percent of women at risk of unintended pregnancy use birth control.

By requiring health insurance companies to cover contraceptives, we are benefitting our country by lowering the odds that a child could be unintentionally conceived and not treated properly after birth, which could harm overall quality of life.

Religious organizations are a different matter.

What it comes down to is a choice. If a Catholic woman chooses to be employed by a religious employer, then she should accept that the organization may not support the choice to use birth control.

Other companies that do not have a designated religion and employ a melting pot of religions should cover their employees.

Institutions like the Catholic Church should not be forced by the government to go against their religious beliefs. That, in and of itself, would violate the First Amendment.

Besides, just because a woman is employed by a religious institution doesn’t mean that she can’t go ahead and use her individual right to use birth control, as the majority of females already do.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said, “Pregnancy is not a disease, and children are not a ‘health problem.'”

The use of contraceptives is a choice. Sex is also, most times, a choice. Where you choose to be employed can also be a choice.

If a religious employer doesn’t cover birth control because it goes against its faith, then don’t work there or expect coverage for contraceptives.

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