GOP Rep. Steve Chabot on the Birth Control Mandate

Friday, February 17, 2012

The religious freedom restoration act of 2012 is the latest wrinkle in a debate over contraceptive use in America. Last month, President Obama announced a mandate that would require faith-based employers to cover contraceptive care. Women's rights advocates have supported this measure, but members of the clergy and republicans in Congress have rallied against it in the name of religious freedom. The Takeaway asked listeners where they fell in the argument.

Steve Chabot is a Republican congressman from Ohio and is sponsoring the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012," which would reverse the Obama administration's mandate.


Steve Chabot

Comments [13]

The Catholic Church as an EMPLOYER and business is subject to non-discriminatory hiring laws making the religious objection to contraceptive use of and insurance coverage for it's employees moot. The Catholic Church as a religious entity may certainly teach that belief to it's membership, but in the end, it is the membership that must be charged with the personal, conscious decision regarding contraceptive use. Previous posters' analogies to other religions beliefs being imposed upon employees are spot on.

And finally, contraceptive pharmaceuticals are not always prescribed to prevent pregnancy. Denying coverage for a medically necessary drug is reprehensible. Apparently, Viagara and Cialis are medically necessary. It seems to me that the government, and religious organizations need to stay out of our sex lives.

Feb. 17 2012 08:01 PM
Daniel Foote from Stillwater, OK

Rep. Chabot: so the government is crossing the line when it makes me pay taxes that fund capitol punishment or the military? I am a religious pacifist, from the Mennonite tradition. It is against my religious beliefs to participate in the killing of other human beings.

Feb. 17 2012 11:44 AM
Danielle Greenberg

John should have stopped the representative from constantly referring to "Obamacare" a derogatory term used to demean the only solution to the health care crisis currently enacted.

At the very least challenge him on this inflammatory language.

Feb. 17 2012 10:57 AM
Molly Tabachnikov from South Florida

It seems to me that the Catholic Church (and those it has enlisted in its cause) does not simply want religious liberty. Rather it wants to impose its theology on the rest of the country, thereby limiting religious liberty. I further believe that it is a last-ditch effort on the part of the Church to bolster a diminishing following, most of whom use birth control, by manipulating the government.

Feb. 17 2012 10:18 AM
Brian P. Rabbit

@MB: The Supreme Court has long held religious exemptions cannot be claimed for tax dollars. The church and Any Other Employer with religious objections to subsidizing contraception via insurance policies and with a belief religion is to be practiced in everything One does, especially if the employing entity Self-insures, does have a claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 because the approach least restrictive on religious exercise while also ensuring free access to contraception would be for the clinic or pharmacy to send the bill for the contraception to the federal government.

The regulation certainly places an undue burden on exercise of religion because if One's faith says to practice religion in everything One does and also says to avoid subsidizing actions contrary to that faith, this mandate inherently prohibits One from doing so.

Curiously, the RFRA does say if a law explicitly exempts itself from the RFRA, the RFRA restrictions do not apply. However, the health bill signed into law contained no such explicit exemption.

So, whether We like it or not, this regulation seems to be illegal.

Feb. 17 2012 09:58 AM
Kate from Brooklyn

Mr. Hockenberry missed the opportunity to challenge the Ohio representative on a major flaw in his reasoning. If a religious institution like a Catholic hospital CHOOSES to serve and employ non-Catholics (or even Catholics who do not always agree with Vatican opinions), that institution has lost its right to impinge on the religious freedom of its patients and employees. Where does a non-Catholic's employee's religious or moral freedom to use contraception fit into Mr. Chabot's arguement?

Feb. 17 2012 09:56 AM
Jan from Pittsburgh

So, if we work for a Jehovah's Witness, we shouldn't have blood transfusions as part of our health coverage? They don't believe in accepting blood products, believing it's akin to eating blood. Why is the Catholic church's stance any different regarding birth control?

I worked for a Catholic hospital, was prescribed the Pill for bleeding, and was required by the pharmacist to provide a written statement by my doctor the reason for the script. Yet, the hospital performed hysterectomies on a daily basis. They would sooner I had undergone surgery to solve my problem.

Feb. 17 2012 09:56 AM
Robert Collier from Fort Lauderdale, FL

Your reference question comparing Scientology banning mental health benefits or christian Science blood transfer was right on target. Also it was clear that "other" birth related issues are actually the hidden agenda in this issue.

Feb. 17 2012 09:55 AM
Loran from Everett, WA

I live in an area where the only hospital is a Catholic institution. This facility is also the primary PUBLIC option. That's the key. More than the beliefs of the 'corporation', it's their responsibility to SERVE the public. The areas of birth control and the entire birth process, a woman's right to determine her own choices,public institutions should serve the entire public. In addition, with respect to the related right of us all, the right to end of life choices, it is very, very troubling (and scary) to think of religion and big pharmacy -with it's overbearing leverage on the medical field- in bed with each other.

Feb. 17 2012 09:51 AM
David from Detroit

One of the amusing things about a Representative form of Government is the acceptance by the represented of the Laws passed by there representatives. We just don't get to pick and choose the laws which we will obey. We get to challenge the constitutionally of the laws which we find to be objectionable in the Federal Court System.

Some people seem to believe that the Political mechanism of civil disobedience is applicable. That is they can declare that their religious freedoms are being infringed and selectively ignore Laws which they find objectionable. That is not the rule of law, that is the rule of the mob.

The Bishops or the Legislators who find the situation objectional can at any time can make use of the courts

Feb. 17 2012 09:44 AM
Dennis Maher from Lake Luzerne NY

Well, here again we have an older white male (I'm one, too!) telling women what they can and can't do. All under the guise of religious freedom. As a mainline protestant minister, I think the real problem here is that the system of tying health care to employers is INSANE. Oh, I forgot - Everything Obama proposes is wrong.

Feb. 17 2012 09:43 AM

Congratulations to the Congressman for not giving into the distorted narrative the host was trying to establish. This guest is giving a moment of intelligent clarity to another issue deliberately engineered to distract with the usual demagoguery directed to anyone who opposes this unconstitutional power grab.
We probably will not be hearing from this Congressman again on the program regarding Obamacare because he is too good at exposing it.

Feb. 17 2012 09:06 AM
MB from New York

Steve Chabot's erroneous reference to abortion-style drugs on the show this morning exposed his cause as politically-motivated and inflammatory. There are plenty of Christians being persecuted and truly prevented from expressing their religion in the world today; American Catholic employers are not among them. As a Catholic, I feel a burning sense of shame and sadness that the Bishops' protest is inconsistent, and therefore, not based in true concern for religious freedom: where are the Bishops' protest of Catholic tax dollars funding of capital punishment?

Feb. 17 2012 08:28 AM

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