I’ve been watching this story for a few days. For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news, the Obama administration is proposing rules that would require all employers to provide coverage for contraception in their health care plans. Catholics are in an uproar over this. The White House has responded (HT: Unsettled Christianity). The first line of the response indicates that “all employers” is not correct, by the way!
I have little sympathy for the Catholic view on contraception. I don’t mean this as generally anti-catholic. There are plenty of specific doctrines for which I have little sympathy. But at the same time, it is their conscience involved. I knew this type of issue would come up when health care reform law was passed. Despite its great length, most of the detail work was left to regulators to fill in. This is one of the dirty secrets of legislation–how frequently congress passes outlines of laws and not complete laws, and then agencies have to fill in the details.
For me, conscience should prevail on this issue. I realize this involves places where Catholic agencies are hiring people of other faiths, but that should be a factor in one’s choice of employer, just as other benefits and conditions are. It’s an imperfect world, but I tend to come down on the side of freedom of conscience.
On the other hand, if you read the White House statement, and if what they are saying is correct, much of the uproar over this issue is, in my view, overdone. The government is overstepping its bounds in my view, but less so than was believed. Nonetheless, I am opposed to this regulation.