Health care, religious freedom/liberty, and religious employers
In a religious freedom/liberty conflict
employees, & students,
The federal Health & Human Services
contraceptive mandate. The
Catholic Church's "Fortnight of Freedom"
Various lawsuits reach the
Who wins and who loses in a battle of conflicting religious freedoms and liberties?
There has been a continuing conflict over the use of contraception medication, devices, and procedures in the U.S. The conflict has been mainly among:
- Religious employers, such as religiously affiliated hospitals, educational institutions, and social service agencies
Religiously motivated owners of secular businesses like Hobby Lobby,
- Employees of these groups and students at these educational institutions, and
The federal government's Health and \Human Services department (HHS) and the HHS Mandate concerning employees' health insurance plans.
The sticking point is often whether the plans provide contraceptives, birth control devices, and supplies at no cost to those employees and students who want them. The Roman Catholic Church and a few other faith groups teach that the use of contraceptives is intrinsically evil. Many conservative Protestants have rejected scientific studies and believe that some of the emergency contraceptives (EC) included in the mandate actually cause abortions.
It is ironic that one of the main opponents of free birth control is the Roman Catholic Church which also is a main opponent of abortion access. If free contraceptives were provided to all American workers, then the rate of unwanted and unexpected pregnancies would drop to a fraction of its current value. Since on the order of a half of such pregnancies result in abortions, the abortion rate in the U.S. would drop to a fraction of its current value. The rate of abortions -- which the Church equates to murder of human persons -- would be greatly reduced to values found in many western European countries.
Topics covered in this section:
- Who wins and who loses the battle? Origin of the HHS mandate
- The HHS regulations. Some reactions to the regulations
The Catholic Church's "Fortnight for Freedom" campaign
The "Fortnight for Freedom" campaign (Cont'd), and Conscience clauses
Additional reactions to the HHS mandate, including lawsuits:
- Reactions by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Americans United, Harvard Political Review, and Freedom from Religion Foundation
- A multi-faith open letter opposing the mandate, titled: "Free Exercise of Religion"
Reactions by Secular Coalition for America, Catholics for Choice, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Reactions by RH Reality Check, the Guttmacher Institute & the Republican Party
Lack of willingness to dialogue on human sexuality. misinformation, disinformation, & other conflicts
More misinformation & disinformation from news sources, A Family Research Council comment about religious freedom
More side effects of the HHS Mandate. Congressional politicians enter fray
Disagreements on how emergency contraception
and whether it can cause an abortion
- 2011 & 2012: 2011: Bill in Congress to terminate HHS mandate. Catholic bishops & pro-life
2012-JUL: Wheaton v. Burwell lawsuit filed.
- 2012-AUG-01: List of lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. The Mandate comes into effect
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Copyright © 2012 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2012-JUN-24
Latest update: 2016-MAR-24
Author: B.A. Robinson