Religious Freedom Win: Employers Can Opt Out of Contraception Coverage
Exemptions to the contraception mandate have been expanded under the direction of Matt Bowman, an attorney with the Department of Health and Human Services. President Trump has followed through on his promise to defend religious freedom by making sure business owners that object on religious or moral grounds to birth control pills, abortion pills, and sterilization are not forced to provide such things to their employees.
The purposes of these expanded exemptions is to widen the scope of protections for business and charities with religious opposition to providing contraceptive products. Obamacare has always contained these protections for churches, but other employers, such as religious non-profits, charities and Christian-owned businesses had no protections. This made it possible for the government to force groups like The Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns, to pay for contraceptives.
Mark Rienzi, senior counsel with The Becket Fund, pointed out that refusing to give exemptions to religious employers was a divisive move by the previous administration:
“The new rule is a victory for common sense. The previous administration pursued a needless and divisive culture war … It should be easy for the courts to finalize this issue now that the government admits it broke the law.”
The new rule is also a step in the right direction to correct the mistakes of the Obamacare mandate concerning how pregnancy is viewed. A recent article explains how the abortion lobby slandered pregnancy in order to advance their agenda:
“Abortion advocates were front and center as the mandates — regulations requiring every insurance plan to cover listed services — were created by a group of unelected bureaucrats. Not only were people of faith and conscience forced to cover contraception, something that some Americans oppose, but the abortion lobby won a great victory when pregnancy, yes pregnancy, was labeled a ‘preventable disease’ therefore making true contraceptive devices (condoms, diaphragms, etc.) as well as potentially life-ending drugs and devices (IUDs, birth control pills, the morning-after pill) that have been deliberately mislabeled for decades as ‘contraception’ all required services in American healthcare plans.”
Pregnancy, a disease? At no other time in human history has any culture ever considered pregnancy to be something other than a wonderful gift. But, I suppose if you support killing unborn children it’s easy to call pregnancy a disease.
Many groups applauded the decision by the Trump Administration not to force religious employers with an opposition to birth control and abortion pills to provide them to employees. It’s not as if this is some sort of Constitutional right that the government is now taking away. Or course, you won’t be able to convince others that birth control should be free and government provided.
An article at FRC comments on a piece by Linda Greenhouse at The New York Times in which Greenhouse laments the fact that “American women are losing the right to employer-provided birth control.” The article at FRC argues that birth control is not a right:
“At least she was honest enough to not use the hyperbole of saying, “American women are losing birth control.” The government remains powerless to prevent women (or men) from purchasing and/or using birth control if they choose to. The vast majority are not even losing “employer-provided birth control,” since the percentage of employers likely to claim either a religious or moral objection is always likely to be tiny. No, they are only losing “the right to employer-provided birth control”—meaning the government will no longer coerce said employers into providing birth control.”
Where did anyone get the idea that birth control is a right? And when did it become the government’s responsibility to provide it? Someone will have to show me in the Constitution where it speaks of birth control as a basic human right to be provided free of charge to everyone through their employer. This welfare mentality that Greenhouse and others have is creating a culture of government-dependent people.
Suddenly we have a large part of the population that thinks the government should provide everything: birth control, health insurance, housing, cell phones, even retirement income. People have lost the virtue of personal accountability and responsibility and replaced it with co-dependence on an overreaching government.
So let’s be clear here: women are not losing the “right” to birth control. Any woman is perfectly free to stop in at any store and buy birth control. No one has even suggested that birth control be taken away, made illegal, or in any way limited. What the Trump administration has done is to remove the undue (and illegal) mandate requiring employers with a religious opposition to birth control, abortion pills, and sterilization to provide them to their employees.
Furthermore, I would suggest that requiring any employer to provide birth control is illegal. There is no constitutional right to birth control. Requiring any employer to provide it free of charge is an arbitrary measure. It would be the same as requiring employers to provide free vasectomy’s for men. Sure, why not? It’s a form of “birth control” designed just for men. So if an employer is required to provide birth control for women, in the interest of equality shouldn’t employers also offer vasectomies for men?
Of course the abortion lobby won’t support free vasectomies for men. They only want life-ending “birth-control” provided free of charge for women. The hypocrisy of modern feminism is on display often. But thankfully measures are being taken to eliminate government overreach and illegal mandates. If you want your birth control you can keep your birth control. Just buy it yourself.