Contraception battle

Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Before 1965 it was illegal in Connecticut for married individuals to purchase or use any form of contraception. This law was ruled unconstitutional in the Supreme Court case Griswold versus Connecticut and a right to marital privacy was established.

The government seemed to be taking a neutral role on the issue of birth control by neither denying it nor affirming it.

If President Barack Obama has his way, it will be unlawful for insurance providers to fail to provide contraception as a standard part of their policies. Obama’s announcement of mandating that religious institutions offer contraceptives in their insurance coverage has created a backlash from many religious organizations.

The president quickly backtracked, but the real issue that seems to have surfaced is a perceived erosion of freedom. The weight of responsibility of something as personal as sexual relations is being moved onto the back of a lumbering bureaucracy that appears to be out of touch.

The government was put into place so citizens could live freely with the responsibility that naturally accompanies those freedoms.

Many of our health care providers are affiliated with or were founded by religious organizations. Expression of faith in these religions (Catholicism in particular) includes rejection of any kind  of birth control.

Why is contraception such an important part of health care? In a brief speech on the issue, Obama promoted free preventative health care measures including check-ups and mammograms. He also explained that birth control has many preventative purposes and are beneficial to women’s health.

The president acknowledged that many religious organizations are opposed to providing any form of contraception but also wanted to ensure that all women would have access to birth control. His plan is that health care insurance and not religious organizations should pay for the birth control. This still does not address the violation of religious expression of individuals caused by this bill.

The Constitution encourages religious freedoms which apparently have been trumped by the right to condoms and the morning-after pill.

The science behind how condoms prevent pregnancy and diseases is apparent. However, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented by a simple and much cheaper method — abstinence.

Hardly anyone supports providing free health care for smoking-related diseases because they are self inflicted.

Sexually transmitted diseases are also self inflicted. Just as smoking is a choice, so is sex (except in the case of rape). Breast cancer, on the other hand, is not a choice, and a mammogram is not equal to a contraceptive.

The problem with requiring all health insurance companies is that some are religious organizations, and some religious organizations are self insured. Their religious freedom is not being protected. Instead, it is being hindered by the supposed freedom to have sex without consequences.

For some reason the government is taking a role in promoting a social agenda. Is it the federal government’s place to require birth control? The Tenth Amendment says otherwise.

Companies and organizations that accept government funding, though, had better be ready to accept the obligations or lose the funding.

The health care bill will affect all health insurance providers whether or not they receive any government funding. The insurance companies are expected to pay for birth control coverage themselves.

It is even worse, though, for the government to meddle with private corporations and require them to go against their beliefs.

America’s freedom of religion is something special. The majority of the world does not have that luxury. No other religion, social or political agenda should ever sever this freedom.


Author: Ethan Mitra

Bio info coming soon!

Share This Post On


Commenting Policy
We welcome your comments on news and opinions articles, provided that they allowed by our Commenting Policy.