Judges weigh religious exemption for health law

Contraceptive mandate in health care law violates some business owners' religious views.
Associated Press
Sep 24, 2013

 

A federal appeals court is considering whether for-profit businesses can be exempted from a contraceptive mandate in the health care law because of the owners' religious views.

The law already exempts houses of worship from the requirement, but two brothers who own businesses in Ohio argue they shouldn't have to comply. The brothers, Francis and Philip M. Gilardi, say the requirement would force them to violate their Roman Catholic religious beliefs and moral values by providing contraceptives such as the Plan B pill for their employees.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Harry T. Edwards was skeptical of the Gilardis' argument. He told their lawyer, Francis Manion, that sometimes religious freedom has to yield to the greater good. Edwards stressed that the Giraldis' companies, Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics of Sidney, Ohio, are not religious groups.

"I don't know see how the government doesn't prevail," said Edwards, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.

The other two judges on the panel didn't indicate how they are leaning in the argument, but they had more pointed questions for Justice Department lawyer Alisa Klein than they did for Manion.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown, an appointee of President George W. Bush, asked Klein whether the government is asking the Giraldis to give up their constitutional rights. Klein responded that the Giraldis weren't making a constitutional claim, but rather seeking an injunction under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Brown asked Klein whether she's saying that for religiously observant owners of corporations there is no right to free exercise of religion.

"There is no substantial burden on shareholders," Klein responded, adding that it is the corporation that has to meet the obligation.

In dismissing the Giraldis' bid for an injunction, trial court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had rejected their contention that requiring the companies to comply with the contraceptive mandate was the same as requiring the Giraldis themselves to do so.

"The Freshway Corporations are engaged in purely commercial conduct and do not exercise religion" under the applicable law, Sullivan wrote.

In court papers, the Giraldis argued that corporations can and often do engage in "quintessentially religious acts such as tithing, donating money to charities, and committing to act in accordance with the teachings of a religious faith," as they contended their businesses do. They say they face more than $14.4 million in annual penalties if they don't comply with the contraceptive mandate.

A separate appeals court panel has barred the government from enforcing the mandate against the Giraldis while they appeal their case.

The case comes as two other appeals court circuits have issued conflicting rulings in similar cases. The Obama administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case involving the Hobby Lobby craft store chain and its sister company, Mardel Christian bookstore. The Oklahoma businesses won a temporary exemption from having to cover morning-after pills, similar emergency birth control methods and intrauterine devices, after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the companies were likely to prevail in the case.

But the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Mennonite owners of a Pennsylvania furniture manufacturing company who claimed that their constitutional rights were violated by the contraceptive requirement.

Comments

The Big Dog's back

You don't want Gov to mandate the law to you but you want to mandate your beliefs on women. Typical religious hypocrites.

2cents's picture
2cents

How would they be mandating their beliefs on women? They just do not believe in providing birth control, they are not stopping the women from purchasing their own!

From the Grave

This is not a story about religion, but a story about how we will slowly continue to lose our freedoms, until the day we are 6 feet under the ground. That's what happens when you expect a government to take care of you. They end up owning you.

Licorice Schtick

This is just politics. The courts will contradict one another until it's settled in the Supreme Court, which may be never.

Dr. Information

One valid point that you cannot argue with. Its amazing how the same people who voted in Obamacare (Dems) have exempted themselves, yet wont exempt Catholic related institutions from something they have been practicing for decades. It makes no sense and is 100% hypocritical.

Birth control cost is somewhere around 15-20 dollars a month out of pocket with no coverage. Its CHEAP!

coasterfan

If an employer wishes to not use contraceptives themselves, I don't have a problem with that. However, they shouldn't force their personal religious beliefs on their employees by refusing to offer contraceptives through the workplace as per the ACA mandate.

2cents's picture
2cents

Ok then where is the mandate for Viagra? Where does this sh-- end and people start to take some personal responsibility. You want women to have choice then give it to them. If they want to play then play on your own time not the employers.

Simple Enough II

I agree with that.

The Big Dog's back

Viagra and contraceptives are 2 different things entirely moroon.

coasterfan

Nah. Obamacare is the law, so it's clearly overstepping if an employer's religious views become part of the equation. For an employer to think he/she can force their religious views on employees is more than a tad arrogant. Basically, it says, my views are more important than yours. If it's a job-related issue, that makes sense, but religion and contraception are not workplace issues.

When, oh when, will conservatives realize they really need to stay out of people's private lives/bedrooms? And you guys wonder why you keep losing elections? It's not because of your candidates, it's because of your beliefs, which frankly, are offensive to a growing majority of Americans.

2cents's picture
2cents

"conservatives realize they really need to stay out of people's private lives/bedrooms"

Yep, most do, and most are taxed to pay for others bedroom play as well, a little strange!

Licorice Schtick

Nah, it isn't REALLY about the cost, because preventing unwanted births saves tax dollars. It's really about power, imposing their beliefs on others, and as they pursue that, no argument is too lame.

It is the position of the Catholic Church that 1) the government answers to God, and 2) the Church universally represents God. Which of course makes the United States of America a subordinate to the Vatican.

Obviously, you can't have 1) AND 2) and still have freedom of religion. All universalist religions want to take away your religious freedom, whether they admit it or not. At least the Catholic Church wants to do it peacefully.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

It’s sad, yet comical in a way. Atheist commentators, alienated from the life of God, purport to understand the Christian mind and the teachings of Christ. Falsely attributing one reason or another, for the business owners desire to act in accordance with the teachings of his/her religious faith.

coasterfan

Think Again: My wife is an atheist, and as a result I've gotten to know a lot of other atheists. They are everywhere, and are the largest growing type of religious affiliation in America. They are also the least likely minority group to "come out" because of the stigma, but when only 1/3 of Americans go to church each week, clearly their numbers are a lot higher than anyone would expect.

Most atheists that I know are former Christians, and in their journey to atheism, have read more of the Bible and more about faith than most Christians have, and asked the questions about faith that most Christians would not dare ask, lest they realize they don't really believe either. They point out that believers don't really believe, otherwise, they wouldn't look both ways before they cross the street. They notice that when the Solid Rock Church in Cincinnati recently replaced their huge Jesus statue (previously torched via lightning), the new edition has a lightning rod on top; they think that is an amusing lack of faith.

Again, no one is saying business owners can't make choices for their OWN lives. It's when they attempt to make choices or DENY choices for other people that we have a problem. Do you see the difference?

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

There is no such thing as a person who “used to be a Christian”, the second birth is as irreversible as the physical birth.

Sitting in a garage doesn't make you a car and sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian. And if you are familiar with my past comments, you know I am the first to admit that not all who claim to be Christian are truly so.

Nobody's rights are being violated because their employer won't provide a service. Nobody is forcing their beliefs on their employees... they are simply standing by their beliefs.

Were they to succumb to the pressure to act against the teachings of their faith, wouldn’t you and others think they were hypocrites? Like you did because we look both ways before crossing the street?

Horace Mann

You state dogma as fact, but it's only your belief. Why do you disrespect the right of others to believe differently?

And rights are a matter of law. If the law says an employer must provide something and he doesn't, then the employees rights are violated. YouSaySo doesn't make it otherwise.

Contango

Re: "If the law says an employer must provide something and he doesn't, then the employees rights are violated."

Reads like an argument for legal equivalency.

The Nazis legally required employers to fire Jews. OK with you since it was "legal"?

Licorice Schtick

Of course not. Different, Illegitimate government, different system, draconian abuses of rights, no constitutional protections. Or are you saying that the Third Reich was just as legitimate as our government?

Changing the subject AND an ad absurdum argument. Typical.

Contango

Re: "Illegitimate government,"

Nope. Chancellor Hitler was duly elected and the Nazis Party controlled the Reichstag.

The vast majority of Germans thought that they were free, not unlike some of the wrongheaded in this country.

Critical thinking not part of your academic curriculum eh?

BTW: It's "reductio ad absurdum" and it does not apply.

Licorice Schtick

There you have, folks. Contango says Hitler's Third Reich was legitimate.

Contango

Re: "legitimate."

Off-topic.

However; were established parliamentary means used to elect the regime?

Was Obama☭are rammed down the throats of Americans using Congressional and Executive procedures?

The Big Dog's back

You started the off topic pooh.

Contango

Re: "You started"

Off-topic, dunce.

Licorice Schtick

Wow. Everyone who disagrees with you is an atheist? I don't know what's worse, the absurdity or the libel.

And in one comment your complain about those who would presume to define another's faith and in the next you do it yourself.

You say "forcing their beliefs" is not OK, but that's not concession, because it's not possible. You're free to believe you must impose you faith on others, but you're not free to actually do it. Render unto Caesar, you hypocrite.

Contango

Re: "My wife is an atheist,"

Also, (according to you) a school teacher who has her health and welfare benefits (with COLAs) GUARANTEED by OH taxpayers.

As an elitist in a politically protected class, you have little credibility in this debate.

2cents's picture
2cents

"largest growing type of religious affiliation"

Oxymoron, would you not say? Atheists do not believe in religion.

Justme...

In this case Coaster, they are not denying choices. They are denying PAYING for those choises. Do YOU see the difference?

The Big Dog's back

Has nothing to do with money. They want to control women. Do YOU see the difference?

Contango

Re: "And you guys wonder why you keep losing elections?"

Perhaps if the Repubs promised to hand out a greater quantity of "cash and prizes" than the Dems do you think that it would improve their election results?

2cents's picture
2cents

: )

deertracker

The problem with your theory is the cons receive the most cash and prizes!

Contango

Re: "cons receive the most cash and prizes!"

Again with the nonsense: So ONLY "cons" are wealthy???

And be sure to give a big thanks to "The Bernank" for his easy money policies with a big endorsement from Pres. Obama!

The rich are getting richer.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/a...

On the other hand, be sure to thank "the Bernank" for buying so many U.S. Treasuries which help to pay for all the liberal "cash and prizes."

It's you who is being "conned" :)

SamAdams

You have it all wrong. Me forcing my religious view on you means I tell you that you CAN'T use contraceptives. In this case, it's just the opposite: You're forcing ME to FACILITATE contraceptives.

You want conservatives to stay out of people's private lives/bedrooms? I completely agree with that. So then why are you not just inviting me in, but FORCING me in and demanding I pay admission, eh?

The Big Dog's back

It's part of a woman's healthcare. You right wingers always want things both ways. Women are going to have unprotected sex. FACT! Why not pay less than a penny to prevent pregnancies"

Dr. Information

birth control pills are not a part of women's healthcare at all. Its an option for many women that they can either take or not take. Forcing someone to pay for something they do not believe in is wrong.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If I were of the persuasion to do so couldn't I claim some kind of religious affiliation to legally avoid the individual mandate?

Kind of, at least according to this article: http://www.washingtontimes.com/n...

I believe we will see a continual rise in groups somewhat like the Samaritan ones only without necessarily needing the religious aspect. "Parlor medicine" I think it's called? The practice where a doctor takes on X patients for one yearly Y payment and administers unlimited general services and referrals to them any time they are needed throughout the year.

But in answering my own question I saw this interesting tidbit from a Forbes article actually saying that the individual mandate is weak:

= = = = = = = = = =

4. The IRS can’t go after you if you don’t pay the fine

Section 1501(g)(2) of the Affordable Care Act specifies that the IRS cannot subject taxpayers to “any criminal prosecution or penalty” for refusing to pay the mandate fine. Also, in contrast to normal tax levies, the IRS cannot “file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section.”

Basically, the only thing the IRS can do to make you pay the mandate fine is to take it out of your withholding, or withhold it from your tax refund, if you’re due one. So if you don’t participate in the withholding process, the IRS has no way to collect the mandate fine.

= = = = = = = = = =

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thea...

KnuckleDragger

A friend of mine who is a pediatrician in Portland, Oregon already practices the so called "parlor medicine". In fact he doesn't even accept insurance of any kind. Pt essentially pay a yearly subscription fee that covers general medical care in the office. He also offers affordable plans that will cover his fee if the patient is hospitalized and requires inpatient care from him. He had so many customers in the first 6 mos he was open that he has since had to triple the size of his building and bring on more doctors and staff. He now has the one of the most successful pediatric practices in the state. There is certainly money to be made if you cut out the middle man, meaning insurance companies and the government plans. He is able to provide his services to his patients for less than the cost of a yearly insurance plan and the care as guided between the physician and patient not by an insurance company or a bureaucrat.

Licorice Schtick

How is that different from an HMO? It sounds pretty similar.

Señor Clown

The way I see it (and I'll offer the standard disclaimer that I'm only vaguely familiar with the issue at hand) it seems that the people that are making a big deal about this are missing the point. You as an employer are required to make health care / health insurance available to your employees. You as an employer should have as much say in how a beneficiary utilizes their health care insurance benefit as you would in how they spend their vacation, what they buy with their paycheck, and whether they should prefer Coke or Pepsi. I don't see this being too far removed from an exaggerated example of an employer refusing to provide lunch breaks for employees that choose to eat pork, because the company's religious convictions forbid eating the flesh of an unclean animal.

Señor Clown

On second thought, it's apparent now after looking at the Freshway Foods product catalog that they carry a salad kit with bacon bits, meaning that Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics give no regard to having employees to handle the meat or carcass of an unclean beast as defined and forbidden by Leviticus 11. Sort of makes my exaggerated example a little less absurd.

Licorice Schtick

Not absurd at all. If you object to pork, should you be able to prohibit you employees from spending their paychecks on pork? The employer pretends to defend religious freedom, but if he has his way, it's worse.

coasterfan

Agree w/Licorice 100%. One's beliefs, religious or otherwise, do not allow one to make choices for other people.

Contango

Re: "One's beliefs, religious or otherwise, do not allow one to make choices for other people."

So should insurance pay for FGM?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fem...

Licorice Schtick

Not if it's illegal.

Contango weighs in again, this time with an ad absurdum argument AND changing the subject at the same time. Clever. But why no name-calling?

Contango

Re: "Not if it's illegal."

Who decides that it's illegal?

wowbagger

By your own logic it nullify's your stance. You believe others should pay for you, This is a belief and should be not allowed to make choices to force others to pay for you. Unless you are a hypocrite (Which most of the Obama congregation is) Your logic has failed.

Contango

Re: "spending their paychecks on pork?"

Idiocy.

Who are the employers that have grocery insurance?

Better not give the Progressive Nutball-in-Chief any ideas huh?

Licorice Schtick

Oh. Shoulda known you'd get around to the name-calling.

Contango

Re: "Oh."

Off-topic.

Licorice Schtick

...said the Prince of Change-the-subject. So off-topic is your exclusive domain, hypocrite?

Contango

Re: "said..."

The topic is insurance. YOU brought up the absurdity about ees spending their paychecks on pork.

Answer the question and quit deflecting:

Who are the employers that have grocery insurance?

KnuckleDragger

No, but as an employer you should have say over what you spend YOUR money on. In other words, if I don't want to spend MY money on a plan that covers an employees birth control, then I shouldn't have to. If the employee wants to spend THEIR earned income on birth control then have it.

Licorice Schtick

This may come as a shock to employers used to pushing "their people" around, but once you've paid, it's not your money any more.

Contango

Re: "you've paid, it's not your money any more."

Off-topic.

deertracker

That's right Licorice!

Don S

I bet these same Roman Catholic men would stand behind the sales of Viagra for men, as long, as the men would not be responsible for the pregnancy !!!

Stop It

""I don't know see how the government doesn't prevail," said Edwards, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter."

I don't see how gov't goes against the will of the people, either. STFU and eat it, pal. there will be more to come. Not all of us are religious fanatics, but some of us are really tired of gov't prevailing.

Licorice Schtick

So.... You don't care if We the People are right or wrong, you just hate our government and want us to loose?

Mum-of-One

An employer should not be able to decide which health services an employee should receive, Roman Catholic or not. They either provide health care or not. What next, your employer decides whether or not you get a blood transfusion because of his religious beliefs? Leave health care to the health care professionals.

Justme...

No one is suggesting that employers should decide what services their employees receive. But should the employer have to PAY for the contraceptives? Do you understand that employers are paying the largest share of the insurance costs? But good point about blood tranfusions. What if that's against their religious beliefs? Can they demand that the policy they provide not cover that? I don't like Obamacare, but I think this guy is wrong given it is law.

Mum-of-One

An employer should not be able to vary the terms of the health insurance provided to the employee. If contraception is a health issue, which I believe it is, then it should be covered. Religious beliefs should not be a reason to delete any of the coverage provided. That would be like your boss telling you what you could spend your salary on.

Simple Enough II

Isn't that an oxymoron? Leave health care to the health care professionals? Seriously, Obamacare was drafted behind closed doors by who??? I highly doubt health care professionals.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

The murder of unborn children (commonly known as abortion) and contraception is not health care.

The Big Dog's back

Contraception is most certainly healthcare.

Contango

Re: "Contraceptive mandate in health care law violates some business owners' religious views."

WTH, the Amish don't pay SSI or the Medicare tax for religious reasons.

http://money.howstuffworks.com/p...

But it's OK for the Nomenklatura to force Catholic, Baptist and other religion self-funded health care trusts to pay for something that is against their religious tenets?

If you agree not to use it, then why should the fascists in DC FORCE you to pay it?

If this ACA sh*t is so WONDERFUL as the Progressive wingnuts blather on about, then why not make it optional?

H*ll, round up those contrary Amish and make 'em pay like the rest of us!

coasterfan

I agree. Either let anyone be exempt, or let no one be exempt.

Having said that, the law is full of compromises, otherwise, it would have never passed. We Progressives don't think it's wonderful. We just think that no one can say for sure until we try it out. Let's run the experiment, and ignore the rightwing blather about how bad it is.

If anything, initial reports are good about Obamacare. Today comes news that Ohioans will be able to pick from an average of 46 health insurance plans, and that nationwide premiusms will be 16% less than the Congressional Budget Office predicted in March 2012. An Ohio family of 4 w/income of $50K, for example, could enroll in a silver plan for $282 a month with tax credits. Without Obamacare, they would pay $768 a month.

Contango

Re: "An Ohio family of 4 w/income of $50K, for example, could enroll in a silver plan for $282 a month with tax credits."

Where is this "hypothetical" family supposed to come up with an extra $3,384 annually out-of-pocket?

Trust me, without massive federal subsidies, these premiums won't stay "affordable" for long.

Since your health care is guaranteed by OH taxpayers, you have little-to-no credibility on this topic.

Like most elitists, yours is a case of: Do as I say, not as I do.

Contango

Re: "I agree. Either let anyone be exempt, or let no one be exempt."

But that isn't reality in the case of the ACA is it? Nonsense.

------------------------

Re: "Let's run the experiment,"

Good to read that the Progressive wingnuts think that it's OK to "play" with the lives of 314 million Americans.

H*ll, the vast majority of Americans are financially ignorant; can't wait for this ACA debacle to run it's course when many of these same people try to figure out health insurance.

The low premiums are being set by many insurers who were formerly Medicaid providers - the network of doctors and hospitals are limited.

Most of the large insurance cos. are sitting it out and will cherry pick the healthy after the unhealthy have signed up with these original insurers.

Hence, the premiums won't stay affordable for long!

I was in the group health insurance business for several yrs. , this has DISASTER written all over it.

Contango

"Obamacare's Insurance Exchanges Will Foster A Race To The Healthcare Bottom":

"Think of an insurance plan as having three main components: (1) a premium, (2) a list of covered benefits and (3) a network of doctors, hospitals and other providers."

"In the ObamaCare exchanges, the insurers apparently believe that only sick people (who plan to spend a lot of health care dollars) pay close attention to networks.

Healthy people tend to buy on price.

Thus, by keeping fees so low that only a minority of physicians will agree to treat the patients, some insurers are able to quote very low premiums."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/john...

Yep! Eventually even well-minded socialistic programs will succumb to market forces.

Those "affordable" premiums won't stay "affordable" for long.

Contango

A socio-economic fantasy like Obama☭are needs a theme song contest.

May I suggest one from the "Wizard of OZ"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P...

Truth or Dare

We're not all practicing Roman Catholics, nor financially ignorant. Had my spouse listened to me some 6 yrs. ago and just dropped our ever increasing private health insurance coverage, after out of pocket expenses paid over the last 4 yrs. alone and due to a $10K deduc. per indiv., which amounts to nothing more than a catastrophic healthcare plan for the 2 of us, today we would have a savings of about $60K. :( Had to continue carrying it though for the "just incases".

Set aside the abortion topic for one moment, because we're talking birth-control and one's accessibility through their healthcare plan. Are these employees contributing wages to their healthcare/prescription plan/coverage? The fact is, family planning through birth control IS both a woman's and man's personal healthcare choice! I CHOSE to have my tubes cut, tied and cauterized after birthing 3 children in 4 yrs.. I laugh now when I remember wanting 6 children. Riiiiiight! We had no health insurance then (some 28 yrs. ago), so it was paid for OUT OF POCKET, as were our children and every copper penny of it. I know, we should of abstained, right? Just another example of one reason why some Roman Catholics leave.

Maybe the brothers could fire all employees that are non Roman Catholic and re-hire Roman Catholics that follow the same personal, religious train of thought.

Contango

Re: "$10K deduc. per indiv"

Did you set up a Health Savings Acct.?

Truth or Dare

That health Savings Acct., that requires more $$$$$ on top of your already high premium, correct, or am I wrong?

Contango

A high deductible plan is basically catastrophic ins.

Anyone with a HDP can set up an HSA and put a little over $8K (per family) in it annually.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource...

We've yet to find out how ACA is gonna (bleep) this up.

2cents's picture
2cents

It requires nothing if you earn nothing! You get free care and working people pick up the tab with higher taxes, penalties and fines.

Dr. Information

Absolutely correct. A friend who works for a large mail and package delivery service (name not mentioned) just handed me a letter 4 weeks ago and asked me to read this to see if he was reading it right.

I said, yes you are, looks like your deductible went from $2500 to $10000 and also your pay will decrease because they are holding more out for higher premiums due to ACA.

The truth doesn't lie. Just don't be ignorant to it people.

The Big Dog's back

The ACA hasn't gone into effect yet, so his employer is committing fraud.

meowmix

My healthcare plan pays for contraceptives. Do I use that part of my plan? Nope, don't need to anymore. But I'm thinking that the anti's are missing the point that the EMPLOYER is not paying for their contraception!! It is a built in part of the plan--just as antibiotics are usually 100% a covered drug. I'm so sick and tired of these sanctimonious hypocrites who say the government is controlling everyone's lives but they sure don't have a problem telling everyone else how to measure up to their perceived lifestyle.

Contango

Re: "EMPLOYER is not paying for their contraception!!"

Yes they are.

What you're missing:

These are self-funded plans.

The employer sets up the health care trust with their MONEY and then often buys stop-loss insurance to cover any large unexpected claims.

The employer most often employs a medical management services co. to review and handle claims.

Mum-of-One

Unfortunately none of us get to choose when we get ill. None of us get to choose which illness we get.

The Big Dog's back

Speaking of sanctimonious hypocrites. pooh fits the bill.

2cents's picture
2cents

Current group plan covers maternity, state mandate even though none of my people plan to have any more kids. Drives costs up for those who will never use already, the plan just adds to these programs.

registerer

There is a simple solution to this. Make all of your employees part time and don't offer them insurance. It seems that is what the gov't wants employers to do!

The Big Dog's back

Not all employers are arse holes like these 2.

Truth or Dare

I guess the answer is yes. Therein lies the problem. See, that recession that supposedly didn't hit everyone until 08, hit and hurt many long before, draining any savings. You know, for a rainy day, medical expenses not covered by insurance, college finances, private healthcare coverage. There were payments to be made for a college education for 2 of our children with one still in high school and 2 yrs. left and $$$'s needed to find an affordable policy. Didn't take long at all to glide through school savings. I only have another $8K to rack up in the next few months to meet my deductible, for a premium that will jump again come the first of the year. I'm in no hurry to rack up anymore expenses to get the answers needed. Can't afford it, even with insurance!!!!!!

We're damned when we do our best, damned if we can't, but buy God our tax $$$$'s surely does provide Cadillac healthcare benefits/retirement pkgs. for those that work for us, as well hefty bonuses for CEO's within the insurance industry.

The Big Dog's back

Like I've always maintained, if men were the ones that got pregnant, there would be vending machines on every corner with birth control pills.

Dr. Information

What I don't understand is how some of you think these institutions are "forcing" their beliefs on you. I've yet to walk into a Catholic hospital or know of anyone that works for one that has said to me that they hate working there because they are pouring out their beliefs on me daily. This isn't about forcing the catholic belief at all, its about them not wanting to participate in something they do not believe in 100%.

These institutions have been doing this for decades so why not allow them to continue to do so. Its not like they have been paying for birth control and now do not want to.

Before Obamacare came along, nobody had an issue with it, but now that Obama has said you have to pay for this, its become another entitlement right for some of you on the left hasn't it.

Imagine if you owned a business and a bill passed that said you have to now pass out and pay for condoms for everyone in your business because its their right to get them for free. As a business owner, you would be ticked off.

Dr. Information

Dems have opted out of the ACA, so why shouldn't business owners be given the same option? Those that think its great (haven't heard one business owner that does, can sign their business away. Those that do not, should not be forced to join this governmental cult movement. Once again our government has stepped over the line.

Truth or Dare

Hey Dr. Information; The Catholic Church is just one amongst other large religious orgs./churches with lobbyists and their not just millions but BILLIONS in INCOME $$$'s backing their religious ideology on Capitol Hill in the hopes of passing bills/laws that will effect ALL CITIZENS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND THEIR RIGHT TO REPRODUCE OR NOT. Of which by the way, has not one thing to do with Abortion! Wouldn't want to prevent them, now would we?!

Here is just a little excerpt from the organization "Americans United for Separation of Church and State", vol. 65, #9 and dated Oct. 2012; "Groups To Watch Out For; The Religious Right Top 10". Number 5 on that list is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lobbying expenditures; $27 MILLION (rounded up, not down). "The USCCB for years has lobbied in Washington, D.C. to make the hierarchy's ultra-conservative stands on REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, marriage, school vouchers and other public policies the law for all to follow. This year, the USCCB escalated its efforts in the culture war arena, forming the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. Led by Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, the committee seeks to REDUCE AMERICANS' ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL, block efforts to expand marriage equality and ensure federal funding of church-affiliated social services, even if the services fail to meet government requirements. American Catholics often disagree with the Hierarchy's stance on social issues, but the bishops clout in Washington, D.C., and the state legislatures is undeniable".

One doesn't have to be employed by a Corporation whose owners are Roman Catholic to be told what we should and shouldn't be able to do in regards to reproductive rights! They, the Churches, and not just the Roman Catholic Church have joined forces and BILLIONS IN $$$$'s to make such laws, "the law of the land"! If you wish, I'm more than happy to post the other 9 orgs./churches and their MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR REVENUE that is being used to influence such decisions.

Dr. Information

And Unions do not organize and throw millions of dollars to get things their way? How about gays and lesbians? If you are going to point the finger, make sure you point it in all guilty directions.

Truth or Dare

Well now, I guess that business would feel much better passing out healthcare $$$$'s for a family of, let's say with a husband and wife team, a family of 12! The average (fertile) woman can birth from 12-15 children in her lifetime. Chances of not all 12-15 surviving, or a portion of them being born with complications is fairly good! It has a lot to do with a woman's reproductive system and her physical ability to bounce back after multiple births. Thanks, but no thanks!

I am not a member of any Union, although from the sounds of things it may be time to contact someone regarding forming one at my place of employment. I'm also not gay or a lesbian, nor do I support their special interest groups. Although I will say this, homosexual is homosexual, whether male or female, and it's not one iota my business as long as they're not making passes at me or my spouse!

I don't even donate to Planned Parenthood, or all those orgs. out their for Women. Another thing I don't donate to is politics. Why bother when all an election is, is the one w/the most money winning? Not a strict party ticket voter here, but there isn't one Republican and only a few Democrats that'll get any kind of vote from me. As for the Churches, I guess the federal grant $$$$'s going to them is a trade off for the laws enacted to help try to protect one's PERSONAL civil/human rights regarding something as basic as a woman's personal choice in regards to reproduction and their ACCESSIBLITY to birth control! That's the topic here, not unions, gay rights. I don't expect you to get it. You don't have too. What I see is a perfect example of what many refer to as "sheep", some 1.2 BILLION strong, and that's only one organized (much like unions) religious and political group that has crossed the line.