Today I would like to look at a few areas regarding the HHS Mandate for Contraception/Sterilization Coverage that is at the forefront of the present dispute and the reason for this Fortnight For Freedom effort.
First, this mandate places pregnancy as a disease that requires preventive services. On their list are also included breast cancer, lung cancer, AIDS, all of which are indeed diseases that can and should be treated for prevention. The Institute of Medicine committee that compiled the "preventive services" list said that unintended pregnancy is a condition for which safe and effective prevention and treatment need to be more widely available ... abortion would be "the treatment" side of things when prevention fails. Again, keep in mind that abortion is the destruction of the developing fetus, which we firmly hold is a living human being gifted with a unique soul and being by God, and protected by the laws of this land. Interesting is the fact that women who suffer from infertility, which is a disease, are ignored in this mandate.
Secondly, there are currently no federal laws that require anyone to purchase, sell, sponsor or be covered by a private health plan that violates his or her conscience ... until this mandate.
Additionally, some say that objecting to this mandate discriminates against women. The Church's teaching against early abortion is based on respect for all human life, male and female. Its teaching against contraception and sterilization is based on respect for the power to help generate a new human life, a power held by both men and women - so health plans in accord with Catholic teaching do not cover male or female sterilization. The HHS mandate would force individuals or their employers to purchase this coverage for them whether they want it or not, which is clearly discriminatory.
And lastly, are religious employers or others who morally object to the content of the mandate forcing their moral views on their employees? The answer is no. If an employee disagrees, he or she can simply purchase that coverage or those procedures elsewhere without discrimination. This has been the practice and the law.
Some thoughts and observations. The materials were taken from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.