It’s become the standard accusation of the secular left in recent months and in various campaigns. Despite not a single piece of legislation anywhere that would affect access to birth control, somehow the abortion industry, liberal politicians and the media have convinced a large number of Americans that conservatives are somehow trying to take away birth control. And while in theological circles there is debate about the use of contraception (see your pastor or church leaders for further details!), there is absolutely no truth to the diatribe being promulgated by the left that it’s threatened by elected officials.
Some liberals point to the so-called "personhood" bill that was defeated during this year's General Assembly as legislation that could "outlaw birth control." This ridiculous allegation continues to be repeated in the media despite the fact that a state law in Missouri with identical language to the Virginia bill has been on the books for over two decades, has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has had no effect whatsoever on birth control in that state. Before defeating the proposal, the General Assembly even added language to protect birth control. Regardless of one's position on the personhood legal concept, it simply isn't the threat the abortion industry claims it to be.
What conservatives are against is the so-called “HHS Mandate,” an aspect of President Obama’s health insurance scheme that requires – forces – businesses and religious organizations into paying for the contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations of girls as young as 12 of their employees (and families) regardless of the organization’s religious beliefs. Incredibly, the mandate does not apply to actual life-saving drugs for heart issues or diabetes, but only to birth control and abortion-inducing drugs! Women still have to drop a co-pay for their heart medications. For liberals to say this is about “health care” is the epitome of hypocrisy.
Oh, guess what, Planned Parenthood helped write the mandate. Big surprise there.
The “religious exception” written into the law is so narrow some have wittily said it wouldn’t apply to Jesus. In fact, it is the most narrowly-tailored religious exemption in federal law. How narrow? It applies only to employers that have “the inculcation of religious values as its purpose and primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets and primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets.”
Examples of employers NOT covered by the religious exemption would be every religiously-based hospital, ministry serving the poor, homeless shelter, domestic violence ministry, etc. None of those organizations serve ONLY people who share their religious tenants – they serve the entire community and because they go beyond the walls of their respective churches they are being forced to violate their collective consciences or stop helping people.
As a result of the HHS mandate’s attack on religious liberty, at least 24 different lawsuits representing nearly 60 both Catholic and Protestant plaintiffs including hospitals, colleges and universities, businesses, schools, and individuals are in various courts around the country.
And for fighting against the HHS mandate, these organization and businesses and their defenders are being labeled as being “against access to birth control” by the secular left, the abortion industry and the media. In other words, to the left, not being willing to be coerced into paying for the birth control, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations for someone else is “against access.” It is a stunning accusation void of any logic or truth – but it’s being repeated every day by politicians and the media and being believed by too many.
It’s time to set the record straight.
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