The four Republicans seeking the Party presidential nomination, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, nearly all Right Wing broadcasters and others who lean more toward theocracy than secularism are promoting the idea that the Obama Administration is hostile to religion. This is absurd. Yet, a campaign is on to persuade voters that the Administration's support for pregnancy prevention benefits equates with hostility to religion - specificity, interference with Catholic dogma in opposition to family planning . Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner decried what he called an "unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country."
Nonsense. The Speaker, the Catholic bishops and the rest are demanding that religious institutions be exempted from a Department of Health and Human Services regulation that in no way abridges freedom of religion. The trumpted up controversy concerns an important provision in the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act that simply insures that employer health insurance plans include services that women overwhelmingly need and want - such as no-cost access to contraceptive health services.
The Republican campaign is in support of the Catholic Church, an institution that is seeking to impose its religious dogma on their employees and the patients they serve, including those who are not members of their religious faith.
The Secular Coalition of America issued the following statement summarizing the difference between freedom of choice and religious barriers to choice: Almost every sexually active American woman has used contraception at some point in her life. To allow religiously affiliated hospitals, schools, and nonprofits to deny millions of women access to contraception would be a gross and unconstitutional infringement on their religious liberty. This regulation does not force Catholic or other religiously affiliated hospitals or care providers to actually provide care that runs counter to their deeply held believes. It only requires that they, as employers, make available to their employees access to contraceptive care if their employees choose to use it.
Please consider contacting your Representatives, writing a letter to the editor of your local paper and/or telling your friends why you do not support this grotesque attempt by the Catholic Church and the Republican Party to dilute your freedom from religion. Do not allow Right Wing Christian fundamentalists to deny millions of women access to contraception.