Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clash Over Contraceptives

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the contraceptives amendment (the Blunt Amendment) which was curiously added to a highway bill. On one side of the issue are pro-choice groups, represented mostly by the Democrats, and on the other are social conservatives and Catholic clergy, represented mostly by the Republicans. Public opinion on the matter is more or less split down the middle with 45 to 48 percent of adults agreeing with religious leaders.

Mitt Romney initially said he was against the bill before retracting the statement and claiming that he misunderstood the question. His spokeswoman clarified, stating the Romney supports the bill and believes in a conscience exemption. President Obama's campaign quickly stated that Romney's remarks "showed why women don't trust him for one minute." I certainly don't because of his stance on women's health and women's issues, not to mention his appearance borders on the Uncanny Valley.

Critics of the bill say that the language is too broad and could allow for any employer to restrict access to any treatment they object to, as if restricting access to birth control wasn't bad enough. President Obama suggested a compromise wherein religious institutions would not be required to provide no-cost contraceptives, passing the cost on to the insurers. In addition to the Blunt Amendment, seven states along with Catholic groups have sued the federal government for allegedly violating the right to religious freedom.

I can't quite see why this would be a violation of religious freedom. No one is forcing anyone take anything they don't want to take. If you believe birth control is wrong, don't take it. But freedom means you can't restrict someone else's rights.

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