Thoughts On The Contraception Dust-Up

A few thoughts off the top of my head on the ObamaCare demand that all employers pay for contraception.

  1. It seems that some (many?) are confusing this push-back as being anti-contraception. Barring a few outliers, I don’t believe that’s the case. At least not for me. This is about being forced to pay for something you dislike, not telling others they may not do it on their own.
  2. I find few things more objectionable than to force someone (at the muzzle of a gun, that’s ultimately how laws are enforced) to pay for something he/she finds morally abhorrent. I would imagine that self-identified progressives feel this way about wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp
  3. In addition to the above, the demand appears to be clearly unconstitutional (all other moral concerns aside), a violation of the 1st Amendment. It’s frustrating to watch the political Left and Right each pick and choose from the Constitution and Bill of Rights when convenient, as though it was an à la carte menu.
  4. The fact that Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Kathleen Sebelius and previously Ted Kennedy claim to be (I’m assuming Roman) Catholic puzzles me. I could go around claiming to be 8 feet tall and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but my claim alone would not make those things true.
  5. The “coverage” being discussed here isn’t really insurance at all.

If Woman A pays for Woman B’s birth control and Woman B pays for Woman A’s birth control, does each get free birth control?
Sheldon Richman

Then  a couple of days ago a decree came from the White House that Obama was open to making an “accommodation.” Instead of mandating that Catholic institutions pay for contraception, he would change the decree so that instead of employers, insurers would be forced to provide full coverage. From what I can tell that’s really nothing more than semantics. I’m glad to see that Prof. Greg Mankiw of Harvard sees it the same way.

This column from Sheldon Richman is fantastic.

Contraception: Insuring the Uninsurable – The Freeman: Controversy rages over the Obama administration’s mandate that all employers – including Catholic hospitals and universities — include free contraception in their employee health insurance policies. Catholic officials object that since their church forbids contraception, the decree violates the First Amendment’ s protection of religious freedom. Others have joined in the protest, prudently anticipating that this violation of freedom of conscience could spread to other matters and other faiths. Those raising the objection have an unimpeachable case. The precedent apparently set in the more than two dozen states that already have similar mandates is irrelevant. What’s immoral does not become moral simply by precedent. The principle that no one should be forced to finance that which he or she finds abhorrent is sound. In fact, it should be generally applied.

As are these WSJ pieces. Excellent reads.

Immaculate Contraception – WSJ.com: Here’s a conundrum: The White House wants to impose its birth-control ideology on all Americans, including those for whom sponsoring or subsidizing such services violates their moral conscience. The White House also wants to avoid a political backlash from this blow to religious freedom. These goals are irreconcilable.

And

The Real Trouble With the Birth-Control Mandate – WSJ.com: When the administration affirmed last month that church-affiliated employers must buy health insurance that covers birth control, the outcry was instant. Critics complained that certain institutions should be exempt as a matter of religious freedom. Although the ruling was meant to be final, presidential advisers said this week that the administration might look for a compromise. Critics are missing the larger point. Why should the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decree that any of us must pay for “insurance” that covers contraceptives? I put “insurance” in quotes for a reason. Insurance is supposed to mean a contract, by which a company pays for large, unanticipated expenses in return for a premium: expenses like your house burning down, your car getting stolen or a big medical bill.

Related links:
Religious Objection not the Only Problem with Obamacare Contraception Mandate
A Libertarian Conversion Story …
Is It Theft? by Walter Williams.
President Obama’s HHS Mandate: Religious Intolerance and Economic Ignorance

  • Anonymous

    Chris – this all sums the issue up really well.   It’s a violation of the first amendment and perfect point – it’s not really insurance in the sense that these aren’t unanticipated expenses…grrr..

    • http://pretenseofknowledge.com/ speedmaster

       Thanks, Becky. And it’s good to see you post!  ;-)

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