Contraception Coverage Draws Criticism from Catholic Bishops

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken issue with the Obama administration's healthcare bill, which requires all university and hospital insurance plans to cover contraception. Archbishop Timothy Dolan wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial that this provision infringes on personal freedoms, "coercing religious ministries and citizens to pay directly for actions that violate their teaching." However, two new recently released polls reveal that American Catholics are more supportive of contraception coverage in employer-provided insurance than non-Catholics.

Lisa Miller is religion columnist at Washington Post and contributing editor at New York Magazine.


Lisa Miller and Todd Zwillich

Comments [6]

George Lucas from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

What's the big problem? 90% of Catholics already use contraception. It's time for the Catholic Church to come to terms with this and get with the times, or put up and just excommunicate them all.
If they started paying taxes on the billions of dollars worth of property they own, maybe they could start telling the government and politicians how to act.

Feb. 08 2012 03:33 PM

There is something basic about Constitutional rights that Celeste obviously doesn't get. Today illustrates it nicely.

One the one hand, Celeste seems to think that the fact that a majority of Americans, or even a mjority of Cahtolics (!?) thinking that contraception is just fine, means that Obama is on solid Consitutional ground in forcing Catholic-owned and operated institutions to distribute contraception. The majority rules, eh, Celeste?

But when a majority of voters in California held an election (a better measure of public support than polling, we ought to agree), defining the terms of how the state will recognize marriages, it is okay for a Court to overturn it, on Constitutional grounds. What happened to the majority, Celeste?

Celeste Headlee ought to just be clear, in saying, "Who cares what the Constitution says? We ought to have full rights for gays and lesbians, and not let the Catholic church get in the way of contraception." Celeste would be popular, and she would flunk the first year of law school.

Feb. 08 2012 11:11 AM

women's rights are the main issue here. 64% of american's support the president's decision. Women need to speak up and support their contraceptive rights!!

Feb. 08 2012 08:41 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I can't believe you missed the point so badly on this issue.
It's not just contraception, it's sterilization, and abortifacient contraception. And it's not just the Catholic Church and 100+ bishops that are protesting the volation of free exercise of religion, but Jewish, Protestant, and even non-religious leaders.
It's not about what Catholics or others do or believe, the issue is forcing a religious organization to act against what they believe. And if it passes you will see the closing of Catholic hospitals (1/3 of the hospitals).
A good analogy would be requiring a Kosher deli, that serves non-Jewish people, to serve non-kosher food. They can either violate their conscience, or close down.
Cardinal George of Chicago said 'I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison, his successor will die a martyr'. This abridgement of religious freedom has never been seen in America.
Sister Keating, President Jenkins of Notre Dame (who invited the president to speak) also said they are 'very disappointed with the president in the lack of conscience protection'.
So that's why David Axelrod spoke about compromise last night. Though she got this right: what would a compromise look like.

Feb. 08 2012 07:08 AM
Kay from Boston

I thought that your piece this morning was as tone deaf as the Obama administration. There is a difference between individual Catholic support for birth control and requiring Catholic institutions to pay for contraception. (I assume that not even this administration would require payment for abortions.) Catholic charities, hospitals and universities are central expressions of faith for Catholics, and they shouldn't be forced to stop serving their mission because some technocrat thinks that compromising their beliefs is no big deal. And yes, it will cause trouble for Obama.

Feb. 08 2012 07:07 AM
John Best from Wellfleert

As usual, whenever the people of our nation begin to seriously zero in on the main issue facing this country, the economy, some group attempts to divert the argument.IF our economy fails, as it WILL if the gas prices climb to $4.60+ per gallon, we won't NEED to be worried about contraception.

Feb. 08 2012 07:04 AM

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