Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No One has a Right to purchase contraception from the Catholic Church

It's hard to believe there is so much in your little post, "Two Rights Don't Make A Wrong," that I disagree with.

You say I have no problem denying the right of women to purchase contraception. I'm not preventing anyone from purchasing contraception. Go ahead. I am saying the Church should have no obligation to offer it. If I owned a newstand I have no obligation to sell pornography and the New York Times just because they are legal. If a consumer wants to buy pornogrpahy or the New York Times, they have ample opportunity to do so.  Why do I have an obligation to sell them just because someone wants to buy those items. If someone works for the Catholic Church, there is nothing that prevents them from purchasing contraception. How is it I am denying anything to anyone? How is it I am imposing my will upon another? If a worker finds access to employer-sponsered contraception so important, I would suggest not working for the Catholic Church. 

We are throwing around "rights" as if they were M&M's. You have a right to purchase contraception from the Catholic Church? Really? You have a right to purchase contraception. I have a right to sell contraception. But you have the right to purchase contraception from anyone involved in health care? 

The glib answer to the question above is yes. Which brings up two other issues that touch on the discovered right of HHS to force the Catholic Church to offer contraception to its employees. We are beginning the descent into the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, aka The Abominable Care Act, aka AbominableCare. We are beginning to discover, as Nancy Pelosi famously said, just what is in this Act. The initial returns are not positive. The CLASS program is bankrupt before it starts. It is clear if you like your health insurance you may not be able to keep your health insurance. Bending the cost curve is an illusion. And now a major provider of charitable works will be forced to choose between its principles and its good works.

The other issue the "right" to purchase condoms from a Priest brings up is, "Why do employers offer health insurance to begin with?" Because during WWII, wage and price controls resulted in companies offering health care as a non-cash benefit to attract workers. One horrendous government decision has led to an elaborate distortion of the market that we are paying dearly for today.



1 comment:

  1. Hi Bill,

    I think your news stand metaphor is a little off. Under the ACA provision all health insurance plans must include an option for contraception, and as an employer, a Catholic hospital would be required to offer one of these plans. However, the hospital itself has no requirement to offer the contraception. On the contrary, they only need to provide the plan to their employees.

    You also say, "If a worker finds access to employer-sponsered contraception so important, I would suggest not working for the Catholic Church." That seems a little simplistic to me. We can't always control who our employer is - especially in this job market. Particularly if you happen to fall lower in the socio-economic spectrum, you may have even fewer employment opportunities. For example, many states have now passed a no-smoking ban in bars. While the ban certainly improves the quality of life of the patrons, the laws were enacted for the benefit of bar employees. The rationale being that many people *don't* have full control over their employment prospects, so no one should have to work in an environment that is unnecessarily harmful.

    Now, you may argue that this is too much government intervention, and in some respects I'd agree with you. But my point is that the ACA provision is not forcing the Church to "choose between its principles and its good works." No Catholic under this plan will be required to take, sell or advocate for birth control. As I see it, there's a clear distinction between providing an option and having to endorse an option.

    What the provision does do, is take a pill - that has a number of medical, social and economic benefits - and make sure that every woman in this country has full covered access to it.