Monday, February 6, 2012
Is it really "Obama vs. Religious Freedom?"
Is President Obama waging a war against religious freedom in this country? Well, there are those new Health and Human Services regulations that require some religious groups who provide health care to their employees to include contraception...war is surely declared!
NOT. After going to Catholic school from Pre-Kindergarten through high school, I have my doubts about these radical and highly exaggerated statements. After the Florida primary, Newt Gingrich emphatically stated that Obama's administration has "declared war on the Catholic Church and other religious organizations," and Mitt Romney thinks that the President is forcing "religious organizations to violate their conscience." These statements just do not add up with what is actually going on here. The Obama administration is not "forcing" anyone to do anything that would violate his or her "conscience."
No woman will be "forced" to buy or use contraception; it is simply made available to women who choose to use it. Thus, I fail to see the "forcible" element here. Also, what most people have not realized is that there is an exemption for churches who mainly employ those of their own faith. They will NOT be required to provide free contraception in employees' health care plans if it goes against their religious principles. Regardless of her faith or lack thereof, no woman should be denied access to affordable health care because someone else thinks it is morally "wrong." Despite what most people think, a large percentage of Catholic women support using birth control and most of them use it themselves.
Personally, I think these new regulations have been a long time coming and I am glad that women's health is finally being lifted from the back burner. With that said, this could potentially diminish Obama's chances at winning the Catholic vote in this upcoming election. However, I am satisfied that he is doing what is right for women instead of caving into political pressure, which he has been guilty of in the past.
Religious freedom is in little danger here. Every woman in America will still have the choice to either take birth control or not. At least now, women of more modest means will actually have a choice in the matter.