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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Contraceptive rights? Right...

The recent contraception mandate, especially in regards to Catholic hospitals, has been all over the news lately. I have just a few simple responses.

First, when did contraception become an inalienable right? I mean, I understand that the right to USE contraception stems from the perceived right to privacy, but at what point did it change to mean that a woman has a right to demand it? It certainly isn't a women's health issue, since more health issues arise for women who take the pill than who do not, including, but not limited to: stroke, heart attack, breast cancers, and hormonal imbalances or mental health issues.

Second, why would anyone suggest that a Catholic hospital should be required to provide something that violates the tenets of their religion? It would be akin to walking into a Kosher deli and suing because you want bacon on your sandwich. And since women can receive contraception from hospitals that are not Catholic, making contraception available at Catholic hospitals as well serves no purpose other than to force the church to bend at the whim of the government. (which I would argue that the government would like to do occasionally simply to prove that it can.)

And third, to those that argue that a Catholic hospital that opens its doors to people of other faiths must provide contaception for that reason alone, I say this: you can attend a Catholic school without professing to be of the Catholic faith. However, if you choose to attend the school, you cannot then opt out of all religion classes on the basis of your personal faith. It is counterintuitive to believe that you should be able to do the same in terms of medical care.

It is true that hospitals, regardless of church affiliation or lack thereof, must provide emergency care to anyone who comes in the door, regardless of his church affiliation or lack thereof. However, the notion of contraception as emergency care does not pass the sniff test. Sorry.

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