Some of the same old Catholic Bishops and their proxies are making a lot of noise about Obamacare's requirement that hospitals and schools cover contraception costs.
A batch of arch-bishops and Republican presidential primary panderers are whining about religious freedom. This is being covered as though it is a big deal by the mainstream media, even MSNBC, the supposedly liberal network, is just accepting the message as the promoters of the issue are framing it.
The truth is, there are a batch of bishops who will attack Obama and attack Democratic policies every chance they get. These chronically Obama-bashing bishops do not represent the majority of Catholics. EastMeadow Patch reports, " bout one-third of America's 50 million Roman Catholics -- more than 15 million -- attend Mass once a week, says William D'Antonio, a sociologist at the Catholic University of America . However, in recent polls, about 95 percent of Catholics have said they use contraceptives and 89 percent say the decision to use them should be theirs, not the church's, he says. ."
This is not an issue that will have a major effect on the election, except, perhaps, to energize women to stand up for their rights to control their bodies. It's old wine in a new bottle-- the Catholic Church trying a new approach to erode women's rights.
Presidential advisor David Axelrod commented, on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning, " There are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of women who work in these universities who are not Catholic," he said. "The question is whether they're going ... to have the same access to basic preventive care." That's the point. The insurance policy Obama is requiring does not force women to use birth control. It enables them to do so. For many years, I've believed that the pro-life movement is almost as rabid in its desire to take away contraception from women as it is interested in ending women's right to control their bodies in terms of abortion.
Katha Pollit, of TheNation, writes, " As if it had finally noticed that women out-number bishops, the Obama administration has decided against permitting religious organizations a broad exemption from rules requiring that all methods of contraception be covered, with no co-payment, by health insurance plans. Strictly religious organizations -- churches, missions and such -- will be exempt, but not universities, hospitals and charities. As a public health matter, this is excellent news: for women whose health plans don't cover birth control, it can be difficult to obtain and costs hundreds of dollars a year out of pocket."
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