The Obama Administration announced yesterday the Affordable Care Act permanent rules. The good news is that no one will be forced to use any benefits associated with women’s reproductive health. It will strictly a personal choice. The even better news is that except for genuine religious organizations, no female employee of any other organization (or affiliate) will be denied full reproductive health coverage (including birth control measures). Let the games begin.
Not so long ago, this game was also played. The Catholic Church asserted that its deeply held beliefs that birth control was wrong supported its contention that it should not be required to provide full woman’s health coverage. The Church said they did not need to provide full coverage even to the female employees of the $70 million per year Notre Dame football team. This position is a testimony to how far astray an organization can get when it allows compassion to be drowned by narrow beliefs.
The HHS announcement’s timing may be just chance. In any case, it was clever following just days after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and effectively allowed same sex marriages to return to California. Many religious organizations were not happy with that outcome, and some see the world’s end following soon.
President Obama was in Senegal this week. He and Senegal President, Macky Sall exchanged words over the treatment of homosexuals and potentially their rights to marry. Senegal is an overwhelmingly Muslim country and surprise, surprise, god has told the Senegalese that there can be no same sex marriage. Hmmm.
The HHS announcement, same sex marriage, and anti-homosexual laws all have something in common. These are about restrictions where someone has said “I don’t approve of doing X myself, and I don’t approve of you doing it either”. They hold these views despite the fact that no one is forced to use contraceptives, no one is forced to marry someone of the same sex, and no one is forcing anyone to become homosexual.
Why can’t some choose to live their own lives they way they wish (like practicing Catholics or Muslims) and let others follow a different life style (providing the other person is not harming others)?