Catholic Bishops Slam Birth Control Ruling: "Pray for the Protection of Religious Liberty"

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Sign in Jefferson City.
The Catholic bishops of Missouri are praying that the legal fight against federal health care mandates for birth control coverage is not over.

"We now call upon all people of good will to pray for the protection of religious liberty and for defense of the First Amendment freedoms we all hold dear," the local bishops say in a new statement slamming the federal ruling this week overturning Missouri's anti-Obamacare law.

"It's almost like it would redefine the First Amendment," Tyler McClay, of the Missouri Catholic Conference, tells Daily RFT of the contraception coverage requirements. "And there are people that want to do that."

See also:
- Missouri Legislature Overturns Nixon's Veto on Anti-Contraception Bill
- St. Louis Archdiocese Fight Against Contraception: Mandate Lawsuit Dismissed
- Could GOP Bill Prevent Rape Victims From Accessing Emergency Contraception?

As we reported earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig issued a ruling invalidating a Missouri law that allowed employers and insurers in the state to deny coverage of birth control if it violated their religious beliefs. The ruling did not get into the merits of mandatory contraception coverage as laid out by Obama's health care policy, but simply said that Missouri can't have a state law that directly contradicts federal policy.

House Speaker Tim Jones recently criticized the ruling and called for an appeal.

Now, the bishops are weighing in -- arguing once again that these requirements violate basic freedom of religion.

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via

At the very least, the ruling was premature, says McClay, the general counsel for the Missouri Catholic Conference, which is the public policy agency for the church in Missouri.

"We are just surprised that she went ahead and made a final ruling...before other cases have been resolved," he says, noting challenges of federal health care that could face future decisions at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pro-choice advocates across Missouri praised the decision defending the Affordable Care Act this week, saying that the state can't simply ignore federal law; they also argued that hundreds of thousands of women in Missouri benefit from the preventative health care benefits Obama established, such as access to no-copay birth control.

But the Missouri Catholic Conference hopes that Attorney General Chris Koster appeals the decision and that the case is put on hold and ultimately the decision is reversed, McCay says.

Continue for more commentary from the Missouri Catholic Conference and the full bishops' statement.



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32 comments
JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Pro-choice? Allow a church to decide what healthcare it wishes to provide for its employees. Allow businesses to decide what insurance coverage to provide their employees. The ruling is anti-choice. It is a "one solution fits all" approach. What makes businesses and even religions greater is when the people vote by their choices wish to support and work for. If Hobby Lobby does not provide the benefit package you want, apply at Micheal's. It is your choice where you go to work. No one forces you to enter a store and fill out an application.  Pro-choice for everyone.

suetoo
suetoo

This isn't a case of the state trying to define religion, it's a case of religion trying to define the state.
http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=22722
Read that article.  It defines why these jerks don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting this into law, plus, Cathleen Kaveny is an entertaining writer.  While we're at it, why should Christian Scientists have to have part of their tax money go for ambulance service, when they want to avoid medical care?  Why should they have to pay anything toward anyone else's drugs or blood transfusions through medicare?  Why should the Amish have to have reflectors on their buggies when they use public roads?

John Walker Falconer
John Walker Falconer

No, it does not. The priests and anyone else who objects are all perfectly free to abstain from the birth control pill. And they are perfectly free to keep going to church. What freedom are they losing?

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

What the hell are you talking about Antoinette?

Antoinette Keen
Antoinette Keen

as unpopular as it is, yes, i do. if the muslims don'

Kathie Steffens
Kathie Steffens

Oh, MO, please don't act like a typical southern red state. You are better than that!

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

The EMPLOYEE is paying for their insurance, NOT the employer. Even if the employer pays 100%, it is considered a benefit of the job and is offered rather than an increased wage. If an employer can begin deciding what they will and will not cover based on their moral beliefs then they will use that to deny health care related to gluttony, alcohol consumption, sprains from dancing, if you work for a Jewish or Muslim owned company and it turns out you ever ate pork they could deny life insurance payments. Can they then deny that you are allowed to buy condoms with the money they pay you?

Mary Hery
Mary Hery

People have religious freedom. Companies should not impede on any person's religious or medical or anything position. If these employers wouls like to take full responsibility of the thousands of children born due to a girl not being able to be proactive, if the these employers want to cover all medical bills for the mother and pay for college for each and every child 100 percent, then go for it. But to burden someone else due to one's own belief is idiotic.

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

If little boys could get pregnant, there'd be an absorption center on every corner, and the body of their christ, birth control pills. How about cleaning their own backyard, before legislating their morality. Hence if they legislate, and they most certainly do, the last election cycle made this painfully obvious, they must not only be taxed, but back taxed for the last 90 or 100 years! HIPAA outweighs their ridiculous ideology anyway. Sick of the nut jobs, of the coverage on their infallible (that started in the 1870s) pedo covering leader, and the pandering from the religious reichwing if this country.

Christopher Harrison
Christopher Harrison

No, it absolutely does not. The employer has no right to know how or if the employee uses their medical coverage. This non-issue was invented by insurance companies price-gouging by making it an "add on".

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

No more than my taxes going to war and the death penalty do.

Corey Herbel
Corey Herbel

and since boys can't get pregnant they shouldn't have any opinion about birth. In fact they shouldn't be responsible for pregnancy at all...

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

The Bishops don't have to worry because boys don't get pregnant.

Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson

The Church can provide whatever compensation they wish or do not wish to provide to employees. As an atheist I don't agree with their dogma but it is theirs and they have a right to it. I wouldn't support forcing them to provide or pay for abortions either. The government meddling in the private affairs of voluntary employment causes more of a mess than it helps. Everyone is free to buy whatever coverage or medicine they wish themselves.

Ed Gibson
Ed Gibson

if the church wants to be involved in politics they need to start paying taxes

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Not at all. An employer's personal beliefs should not deny/restrict employees' specific health care needs.

Vicki Rawlings
Vicki Rawlings

No, they are NOT responsible for what their employees do...in many cases it is prescribed by doctors for other reasons

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

Why do religious "officials" think they have a role in policy??? Keep your pope out of my personal business, thanks! Respect, yo.

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

@JamesMadison As a business owner for some 15 years, I cannot even begin to explain to you how absolutely stupid your "argument" is. Laughable even. What part of the verbiage "Equality for All" and "separation of church & state" are you not getting here?? If you don't like the way the constitution was writ, too bad. Sucks being the outdated, anti intelligent, archaic minority, doesn't it? 

BillyGoatMusic
BillyGoatMusic

@Chris Ferguson that is the same "logic" used to rationalize all manner of hate crimes committed by racists in the pre-civil-rights movement South.  If a business doesn't want to do business with a certain kind of folk, they shouldn't have to, is a very slippery slope. 

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@Vicki Rawlings , and steroids are prescribed for other reasons as well, yet do you think Major League Baseball will cover a player's use of them?

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@nmoungo , he is out of your business, unless you are an employee of the Catholic Church. Otherwise, keep your secular laws out of the Pope's religion. thanks. show some respect to others, too.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@nmoungo, as a business owner you ought to respect that you can make your own decisions to the benefit packages you offer your employees. You do not need to follow whatever trend is happening down the street. You can decide for instance to pay a higher wage with less insurance or vacation days. That will appeal to some workers, but not others. It is pro-choice in the workplace. 

Poor business owners want the gov't to dictate all rules so they can remain in business without competition taking all their customers.

Separation of Church and State works both ways, but of course you realize that. You only wish to recite slogans rather than delve into the real matter. If you can recite the the full passages that state "separation of church and State" as well as "Equality for all" from our beloved US Constitution, please do so. Neither are explicitly stated. Another one from the bump sticker philosophy crowd. 

 "Equality" is not the outcome but the opportunity. As it relates to this topic, you have the opportunity to fill out an employment application at the place of business that offers a total benefit package that you desire. Avoid those that do not.

Again, your freedom of choice is not binding on another individual's rights to their freedom of choice. The US Constitution protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Try reading it sometime.

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

@JamesMadison James, you're a troll, but you know that, right? I don't have a problem with the Pope telling Catholics what to do, it's their choice whether they choose to "follow". He doesn't want them taking birth control or the morning after pill, and doesn't support equal rights for ALL? Again, fine. Let them preach from the pulpit, but when they start dictating policy to government? You better believe myself & 80% of Americans will have a major problem with it. Get a proverbial clue, read the constitution, and realize what "separation of church & state" actually means. Old, outdated ways are on their way out the door, once these old minority folks have passed on in the next 10 years or so, thus you better get with the program & support equality for ALL or evolution will leave you behind. organized religion is in its death throes, or haven't you been paying attention from under your rock? Respect? You obviously have no idea what the word means.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@nmoungo , anyone who disagrees with you is a troll. Got it. 


Separation of Church and State works both directions. I'd no more want the Pope telling all Americans what to do than I want the Feds telling all Americans what they must believe and do. 

We are free men, and ought rightly be able to freely associate. If one group does not wish to have particular medical coverages, that is their choice. Stop trying to dictate what you believe is good for them. Let them freely form their associations. If they wish to provide birth control, wonderful, let them. If they do not wish to do so, wonderful let them decide. Either people will be knocking on their doors to work there or they will be running away for other employment. 

Pro-choice. It works both ways.


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