In response to the recent letter submitted by Temple College Republicans concerning the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive policy I find it necessary to inform The Temple News’ readers of the actual facts of the policy and debunk the other erroneous statements espoused by their letter.
President Barack Obama appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who stated that employers who provide health insurance for their employees must pay the full cost of their female workers’ contraceptive needs.
Yet in a move to respect religious organizations that find contraception immoral, exceptions were made. Women employed in “houses of worship” and by religious organizations in which the majority of the employees are of the same faith are exempt from contraception coverage.
The biggest controversy about the whole policy concerned the fact that HHS mandates that religious organizations whose majority of employees are of a different faith must provide full contraception coverage.
In order to accommodate the rights of religious institutions who morally object to birth control, HHS ruled that the health insurance company contracted by the employer must pay the full cost of contraception for female employees, not the religious organization itself. So in no meaningful way is this contraceptive policy an infringement on the freedom of religion.
The republicans have stated no GOP presidential candidate has wanted to ban birth control. Well, it is true Rick Santorum said he would not ban birth control but he would give states the right to ban it if they wanted to. Does this seem like a meaningful difference? In 1965 the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that state laws to ban contraception were unconstitutional because they violated one’s right to privacy.
The most farcical claim by Temple College Republicans however was the statement that “Planned Parenthood…performed 329,445 abortions in 2010, all at taxpayer expense.” The truth is that since 1976, under federal law, the Hyde Amendment prohibits any federal funding of abortion. So, any and all funding to Planned Parenthood must, by law only go toward family planning services. This makes the above quote by Temple College Republicans a complete fiction.
Before closing it should be said that Planned Parenthood is a laudable, private non-profit organization that provides women not only with access to affordable or free family planning services, but also breast and cervical cancer screenings among other services.
Policy Director, Temple
Temple College Republicans, this should prove to be a valuable learning experience, giving you some idea of what you’re up against. You should also take note of the use of “facts” that are nothing of the sort, but are solely meant to camouflage the shell game that is being perpetrated on the American public.
At the heart of the Affordable Care Act lies the Statist’s view that Government, at the direction of some omniscient Secretary of Health and Human Services, should determine what behaviors are endorsed by the State, and which ones aren’t. The fundamental problem is that our Constitution is designed to restrain the State in order to preserve individual liberties, including the freedom of religion. That makes it hard to confiscate (steal, tax, pick a term) money from the citizenry and use it for purposes that are directly contrary to their beliefs. It’s really a problem with most of the liberal agenda. In order to bestow the benefits that the State deems appropriate they must first confiscate them from someone else.
When it comes to forcing religious organizations to provide services that are contrary to their tenets we are expected to believe that because insurance providers are forced to provide these services free of charge, they are somehow magically free of cost. If you believe that those costs aren’t transferred elsewhere by insurance providers I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. The next time you see a “buy one get one free” offer I want you to try to go to the retailer and tell them you just want the free one.
Regarding Planned Parenthood (AKA the #1 provider of abortion services in the US), the Hyde Amendment, while well intentioned, prevents direct funding of abortion, but not indirect funding. That’s why it gets thrown on the table – to camouflage reality. Sending federal funds (AKA your money and mine) to the #1 provider of abortions in the country, and expecting the #1 provider of abortions in the country to not benefit across all operations is ridiculous. That would be like federally funding the NRA so long as no money was spent on weapons or ammunition. It sure would free up a lot of capital by covering buildings, personnel, utilities, insurance etc. There is absolutely no reason why Planned Parenthood can’t create a seperate organization that handles abortions. Wonder why they don’t.
There is also the straw man argument (because they can’t resist) that because some oppose funding going to the #1 provider of abortions in the US that naturally by extension all birth control will become illegal. Because the federal government doesn’t subsidize an activity doesn’t make it illegal. Nice try.