The bishops object because providing comprehensive health care includes providing coverage for abortion, sterilization, and birth control. Not just the supposedly “controversial” stuff – regular birth control pills.
I have no problem with the Church disallowing these things – though I think it’s despicable that the papal decrees against condoms have probably done more to spread HIV/AIDS than any other single factor. This archdiocesan posturing and bickering isn’t about churches – it’s about institutions affiliated with churches. That is not my problem here.
The Archdiocese is saying three big things here:
1. All employees at Catholic institutions, schools, and hospitals can ONLY be practicing Roman Catholics.
2. The Archdiocese would willingly sacrifice the health of their employees1 rather than allow the ability for them to get birth control.
3. They don’t trust their own employees to follow their faith.
The argument that coverage is equivalent to using those services – or supporting them – is bankrupt. From there, it’s a short step to saying that wages could be supporting those services, so maybe that’s a bad idea too. After all, the Archbishop is the one saying that providing access to birth control coverage is the same thing as taking away rights – but removing access is all about freedom.
What more do you expect from an Archdiocese whose “Letters to the Editor” page on the website looks like this:
1 Golly – and save some money, too! Guess paying off those settlements is expensive… (Seriously, yes, it is expensive, and while it’s not something talked about publicly much, the RCC in this area has been hurting for funds for years.)