Catholics Tell HHS: We Support Contraceptive Coverage
Thousands Reject Bishops’ Claims and Demand Equal Treatment for All
Thousands of Catholics from across the country spoke out this week, making clear their support for coverage of contraception at no additional cost in insurance plans, and showing without a doubt that the bishops do not speak for them on issues of family planning or religious liberty. More than 3,600 people have joined Catholics for Choice in submitting comments to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius supporting the inclusion of no-cost contraception coverage as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“Catholics are paying attention to this issue in big numbers, and few are taking their lead from the bishops,” said Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien.
In addition to Catholics from across the country, Catholics for Choice submitted comments, stating that “Contraceptive coverage requirements infringe on no one’s conscience, demand no one change her or his religious beliefs, discriminate against no woman or man, put no additional economic burden on the poor, interfere with no one’s medical decisions and compromise no one’s health.”
CFC’s comments further note that “allow[ing] employers to pick and choose the contraception covered by their insurance would substitute an employer’s amateur understanding of medicine for the advice of a medical professional; compromise women’s health; and validate false claims about biological science and medication.” CFC’s comments can be read here.
One of the founding promises of the Affordable Care Act was that people would be able to keep the insurance that they liked. Catholics for Choice hopes that this commitment will not be abandoned for those who are currently happy with their coverage or live in states that already require coverage by virtue of state laws that demonstrate respect for their individual consciences.
O’Brien continued, “We know that Catholic universities throughout the United States are providing coverage for contraceptive services now. As a spokesperson for Marquette University, a Catholic school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, explained about the school’s long-standing coverage for contraception: ‘It is also important to point out that the availability of a benefit does not require that an employee make use of it, as the choice to use a contraceptive is a matter of conscience.’ We at Catholics for Choice agree,” said O’Brien. “Nobody should be discriminated against or treated like a second class citizen because of where they work.”