Thursday, February 16, 2012
The purpose of this letter is to discuss, as simply as I can, the recent “dust-up” about birth control in this country. I am using the comprehensive definition of birth control that includes contraceptive devices (pills and condoms), the morning-after pill and abortion. The discussion has been about who should pay for birth control.
This country was founded on the individual rights from God, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which gives us great personal freedom. The roll-out of Obamacare added the right to free birth control. This was achieved by requiring the employer to pay for the cost of birth control in the premium for the worker to the health insurance company. In turn, the insurance company would offer free birth control to the insured. The Catholic church, as a matter of conscience, objects to birth control and strongly objected to this process on religious freedom grounds.
President Barack Obama, after a couple of weeks of intense discussion, recently offered a compromise. The compromise would allow the employers who objected to paying the birth control premium not to have to pay it, but the health insurance companies still would be required to continue to provide free birth control to the insured. They, like any other company, would have to recover this cost in some way or go out of business. How this would occur was not explained, but someone would end up paying the cost.
It is worth noting that paid birth control widely is available in our community. Planned Parenthood prides itself on offering free or low-cost birth control to the uninsured and people with limited means. Planned Parenthood receives federal tax money and some, including me, object because this money, at least indirectly, supports abortion.
In summary, President Obama wants to add the right to free birth control. The election this fall offers a clear choice between visions and direction for the country. President Obama and the Democrats want bigger government, more spending and more intrusion and control over our lives. In my view, this is not about who is going to pay for birth control but what are the limits on government and how far should government control infringe on our personal freedoms.