Catholicism, Contraception, and Conscience: Church Imposed Teaching, God’s Gift of Free Will, and Political Rhetoric by Michele Stopera Freyhauf

Certainly one cannot turn on the news without seeing a story about the feud over the Catholic Church’s stance on forbidding the use of contraception and Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that mandates free contraception to women.  In preparing this article, I took the time to review many articles from liberal and conservative news outlets, law professors who are experts on constitutional law, and statements from the USCCB and Bishops.  Before asking questions, I want to outline the following points:

  1. In the literature reviewed, only two women, Sr. Carol Keehan and Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, made a statement against this policy stating that the government is interfering with the working of the Church.  Most voices heard and shouting the loudest are members of the clergy.
  2. Hospitals considered “Catholic” hire people of all faiths and various beliefs.  They also treat patients of all faiths.  They are not exclusively “Catholic.”
  3. Catholic identified Colleges hire professors and staff that are not Catholic.  Moreover, their student body is not totally Catholic.
  4. Catholic Charities, once again, hire non-Catholics.
  5. Insurance plans currently in place often offer contraception prescriptions at a zero to low co-pay price.  These plans are in-force at many Catholic Institutions.
  6. Under HIPAA, healthcare of employees are protected and the Employer, even the Catholic Church cannot violate the privacy of the patient, even if it is an employee.
  7. Birth Control Pills are often prescribed for women with endometriosis or other “female” reproductive disorders and not birth control.
  8. Women pregnant, carrying a dead baby, cannot have surgery due to risks are given medication to induce abortion are given.

With this background, I want to address the question causing the most controversy:  Separation of Church and State.   According to Sr. Jane Marie Klein, Chair of the Board of the Franciscan Alliance who oversees a system of thirteen hospitals, “This is nothing less than a direct attack on religion and First Amendment Rights.”  She further states, “I have hundreds of employees who will be upset and confused by this edict, I cannot understand it at all.”

According to Nick Baumann, the central mandate—“most employers have to cover preventative care for women”—has been law for over a decade.  This point is completely lost in the current controversy, as Republican presidential candidates and social conservatives claim that Obama has launched a war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church.  Despite the longstanding precedent, “no one screamed,” until now, said Sara Rosenbaum, a health law expert at George Washington University.”  According to Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, contraceptive services have “been part of our program” in faith-based schools, hospitals, and charities “since about 1972.”  At that time, this issue found support with both Democrats and Republicans. Baumann’s article, he states, “in December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex.  That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees.”  In fact, Baumann points out men and women have to be treated equally under the law.  Moreover, the EEOC’s interpretation of the law is that preventative care coverage cannot be offered without offering birth control coverage, too.  Not even religious employers were exempt from the EEOC decision.

According to Clarence Darrow, the exemption is moot because the law’s definition of “religious” is flawed.  It defines religious employer as having its purpose to 1) cultivate religious values, 2) primarily employ people who share the organization’s religious tenets, and 3) primarily serve people its religious tenets.  Under this definition, churches are exempt but religious universities, hospitals, and organizations are not.  If they want to be exempt, they would have to turn away non-Catholic patients, students, clients, professors, staff, nurses, doctors, and others that are not Catholic.  Leslie C. Griffin, J.D., Ph.D. sets out the same definition as Darrow but adds a fourth requirement “The entity is a nonprofit organization as described in Section 6033(a)(2)(A)i or iii of the Internal Revenue Code.”  By hiring and serving non-Catholics, these Catholic organizations do not fall within the category of religious exemption.

Griffin also stated in 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Employment Division, Department if Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith that a Native American fired for smoking peyote in religious rituals which caused him to fail his drug test and  resulted in termination of his employment was ineligible for unemployment benefits. Though Smith asserted the free exercise to religious practice under the First Amendment, Judge Scalia ruled “the right of Free Exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a ‘valid and neutral law’.”  Women’s health laws are neutral laws as defined in the Smith case  – “neither pharmacists nor religious organizations possess a constitutional right to exemption from the law.”

Administration officials stressed that individual decision about whether or not to use contraception and what kind is between a woman and her doctor.  According to the ACLU, women have the right to follow their own beliefs and say no – it is an option not a mandate.  In other words, Catholics employed and have health insurance with free contraception have the right to say no.  It is also important to remember that to completely eliminate this option, the “Church’s ‘conscience’ puts women at risk.”

The largest Catholic university in the nation has admitted to providing contraception coverage as part of its health care benefit package, further undermining the GOP’s claims that Obama’s regulation requiring insurers and employers to offer reproductive health benefits represents and “unprecedented” war against religion.  “The employee health insurance plans include a prescription contraceptive benefit, in compliance with state and federal law,” DePaul University spokesperson Robin Florzak confirmed to ThinkProgress. “An optional insurance plan that covers such benefits is available to students, also due to previously established state and federal requirements.”  According to ThinkProgress “other Catholic colleges and hospitals, including Georgetown and the six former Caritas Christi Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts, have also admitted to offering birth control benefits.”  DePaul’s is one of 28 to have adopted a contraception coverage requirement.

This separation of Church and State has some ironic twists to it.  The first is federal funding from a governmental agency to a church.  If one wants to argue separation of Church, it would seem that a complete severing may be necessary.  According to The Blaze and the Washington Post, the Department of Health and Human Services funded the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops special programs that assisted victims of modern-day slavery or human-trafficking.  The money was allocated to three non-catholic groups because the bishops refused to refer trafficking victims to receive contraceptives or abortions.  In the past the HHS has given over $800 million in funding for social services to Catholic groups since the mid-90’s, $348 million of which went to the Bishops Conference.  With this type of funding, HHS points out that no bias exists towards the Catholic Church.  Many Catholic institutions that the Bishops are demanding exclusion and separation of Church and State are recipients of federal money.

Then there is the dissension over the Church’s stance on birth control.  According to USA Today, most Catholics want birth control and 98% of U. S. Catholic women used birth control at some point in their life.  The Huffington Post also confirms this statistic.  According to sociologist William D’Antonio, 89% believe that the decision to use contraception is theirs, not the Church’s decision.  This is an issue that has plagued the church for decades.

The US Bishops cite a biblical precedent for their actions, a non-violent objection and rebellion against what is wrong (Acts 5:29).  However there seems to be a precedent the hierarchy is overlooking: God’s gift of Free Will to all human beings. Besides the doctrine of free will, there is the issue of conscience.  Cardinal-elect Dolan is no stranger to making incorrect statements without looking or knowing all of the facts.  In fact, on he states, “to force American citizens to chose between violating their conscience and foregoing healthcare is literally unconscionable.”   In fact, with the one-year delay given to church-affiliated hospitals and organizations prompted Cardinal-elect Dolan state “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”

It is interesting that the issue of  violating one’s conscience is a valid assertion here, but denied when an individual attempts to assert his conscience.  In essence, based on the facts and information found, this is nothing more than a political rhetoric.  Engaging in political rhetoric is a slippery slope, especially if you are an exempt entity or foundation as defined as the Internal Revenue Service.

Michele Stopera Freyhauf is currently at the University of Akron doing post-graduate work in the area of the History of Religion, Women, and Sexuality.  She also has a Master of Arts Degree from John Carroll University in Theology and Religious Studies and is an Adjunct Professor at Ursuline College.  Her full bio is on the main contributor’s page or at .

Author: Michele Stopera Freyhauf

Michele Stopera Freyhauf is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a Member of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University as well as an Instructor at John Carroll University’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Michele has an M. A. in Theology and Religious Studies from John Carroll University, and did post-graduate work at the University of Akron in the area of History of Religion, Women, and Sexuality. She is also a Member-at-Large on the Student Advisory Board for the Society of Biblical Literature and the student representative on the Board for Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society (EGLBS). Michele is a feminist scholar, activist, and author of several articles including “Hagia Sophia: Political and Religious Symbolism in Stones and Spolia” and lectured during the Commission for the Status of Women at the United Nations (2013). Michele can be followed on Twitter @msfreyhauf and @biblicalfem. Her website can be accessed here and is visible on other social media sites like LinkedIn and Google+.

31 thoughts on “Catholicism, Contraception, and Conscience: Church Imposed Teaching, God’s Gift of Free Will, and Political Rhetoric by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”

  1. Well said. Also see Rachel Maddow from Weds. night who cited polls showing that the journalists’ view that Obama is taking a risk supporting birth control is totally contrary to the public which wants birth control funded by a wide margin, whether all the country, just Catholics, or even just Republicans. What is going on there?


    1. The way the Republicans are responding, they are not looking at the issue but the spin to promote their candidacy. They are citing government involvement in church belief and accusing Obama of doing things that their republican predecessors already had in place. Its rhetorical and sensationalism and unfortunately people buy into this propoganda. I would think that freedom of religion gives us the ability to CHOOSE. The bottom line – WOMEN CAN SAY NO! We can be made aware of the teaching, but like everything else, we have the ability to follow our conscience and we have the God given gift of free will.

      I hope that people will become more educated on this issue, ignore the rhetoric, and make an informed decision based on the facts – whether it comes from my research or research they conduct on their own. This is just one of many issues that so much misinformation is being propogated to the members of the church.


  2. For more than a generation, US Foreign Aid has been divorced from moral principles of freedom of conscience. USAID Teams go into a distressed country and force contraception, abortion and sterilization on the population in exchange for other meds and provisions. What will stop the government from doing this to your group? Where is the choice when there is no choice?

    The Gospels tell of Jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery, a prostitute named Mary Magdalene. In the case before us now, Jesus is the Catholic Church, and the American culture at large is Mary Magdalene. There is no power greater than the power of forgiveness.

    Many have chosen to adulterate their bodies for the sake of self-pollution, which, in our culture today, receives little or no scorn, due to a draw-down on faith and morals, initiated in the 1940’s by Dr Alfred Kinsey. As detailed above, through US Foreign Aid, this immorality is scandalously and largely secretly being forced on Third World countries.

    When bad men write bad laws and then follow them, the results are tragic and should be condemned by all men and women of good will. The obligation to follow the righteous laws of men exists for all; no one has a right to follow bad laws written by bad men. On the contrary, good men and women have a responsibility to resist those bad laws, through civil disobedience, even unto death…

    May God have Mercy on us all.


  3. Good points well put.

    Questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith are entirely real, but not new. The courts have confronted such issues and have generally ruled that under the Constitution the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, fraud, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. Were it otherwise and people could opt out of this or that law with the excuse that their religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate.

    Lost in the fuming over some supposed moral dilemma is that THE HEALTH CARE LAW DOES NOT FORCE EMPLOYERS TO ACT CONTRARY TO THEIR BELIEFS–unless one supposes the employers’ religion forbids even payment of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion). In keeping with the law, those with conscientious objections to providing their employees with qualifying health plans may decline to provide any health plans and pay an assessment instead or, alternatively, provide plans that do not qualify (e.g., without provisions they dislike) and pay lower assessments.

    No moral dilemma, no need for an exemption. That the employers must at least pay an assessment is hardly justification for an exemption. In other contexts, for instance, we have relieved conscientious objectors from required military service, requiring them instead to provide alternative service in noncombatant roles or useful civilian work. In any event, paying assessment does not pose a moral dilemma, but rather a garden-variety gripe common to most taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action of the government. Should each of us feel free to deduct from our taxes the portion that we figure would be spent on those actions (e.g., wars, health care, teaching evolution, subsidizing churches, whatever) each of us opposes?


  4. Sadly Doc Kimble is out of touch with how foreign aid policy is developed and how this assistance is implemented. With less than 1% of the US budget going to international assistance and with these funds going to initiatives such as food security, prevention of infectious diseases, micro financing, and ensuring women’s rights are recognized in transitioning societies rule of law, the US is working hard to provide assistance where needed.

    There’s an assertion in this person’s post that the US is sterilizing the poor, forcing abortions, etc., which is inflamatory, offensive, and wrong. Funding for international assistance will always be political. It’s the politicians who approve appropriations that fund government programs, which also means that under Bush no funds from USAID were allowed to go to public health groups or NGOs that promoted family planning rather than abstinence-only education.

    For anyone that wants to understand where US funding for development actually goes, check out, and skip the uninformed, pseudo-religious comments of the “doctor.”


  5. Great blog! I think we need to continue to discuss the faulty theological and constitutional logic of the Catholic hierarchy’s claim that this violates their “institutional” conscience (something I’m not sure can exist). I also think it is time for feminist theologians and ethicists to renew a PUBLIC conversation on the theological and doctrinal history of the birth control ban in Roman Catholicism. See my response at


    1. Kate, Thank you for your response. There is a conversation that needs to be held. I think the biggest issue, regardless of your belief system is the right to choose. If you are Catholic and informed of Catholic teaching on this, then you can choose to follow the teaching or not. In no other forum or issue of Catholic teaching that I can currently think of where they are crossing this type of line. The Church believes in vitro-fertilization is a sin, but you do not hear a call for an absolute ban or mandate against that. The Church believes that the withdrawal of feeding tubes (for hydration) is a sin, but there is no ban or mandate against that. Bottom line, regardless of the stance, it bowls down to free will and rights afforded under the constitution to the freedom of religion. I cannot think of any other religion, with the possible exception of fundamentalism, where there is such a force into the political arena. You do not see it with the Christian Scientists, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, etc.


  6. I’ve always admired the theology of Mother Teresa and John Paul II. They put God first by putting others first. I get the impression from their lives that if they’d lived in any other age, they would have been as devoted to the highest and best good of others as they were in their lives in this age. Love like theirs is timeless, and can be achieved by anyone of any philosophy or religion, or even no religion.

    A certain spark of the goodness that wills and works for true happiness of others by denying self for others is in all of us.

    Love wills the highest and best good of others equal to, if not more than, one’s own good. And, even though one may not know of,God, or be skeptical of God’s existence, one will nevertheless be serving that unknown God by loving, and willing, the highest and best in self and others.


  7. I found this blog post very interesting. I believe a woman has the right to choose if/ when she wants to have children. I don’t think the government or the church does not have the right to say weather or not a woman has access to birth control. I’m a little shocked how outspoken the Catholic church has been about the law Obama passed. My question is: why do clergy members feel they have the right to tell women they don’t know weather or not she has access to birth control?


    1. While I have strong personal opinions about clergy telling me whether I can use contraception or not, the bottom line, with any other church teaching (including the sacrament of confession, going to weekly mass, and a whole host of other rules), is that we have a choice to follow the teaching or not. This is not medieval times and the Bishops are not the grand inquisitors. In the United States we have a choice. However with the way the church is moving, there has been a movement away from the church. Even with the campaign to come home, in an environment such as this, does this feel like home?


  8. @Subrina Konian: Good question. We’re all sinners, that’s why we all get sick, that’s what causes all the problems in the world. A person’s property is an extension of the person, and therefore how a person’s money is spent signifies his/her intention. Catholic hospitals and institutions are willing to help all sinners with any problem, with health or otherwise, that they can. Catholics are not willing to also be the cause of, or the enablers of, the sin that causes the need for their hospitality and assistance; that would be Planned Parenthood’s intention..


  9. The reading of this article and the comments proceeding, the thought of how many women are in need of education of birth control and taking care of themselves comes to mind. Cultural change will always be continuing forward for many futures and with that comes the change of science within the medical field and health care. Not sure why the Catholic Church continues to have ethical issues regarding birth control for the women and men of it’s members. Does the Catholic Church want to pay for the upbringing of all the children that are born to these parents, when the “Catholic birth control” doesn’t work?


    1. While there is Catholic Charities and some assistance offered (including government assistance), I think the question moves beyond that. The church has a stance of reconciliation and forgiveness for those who breach their teachings (or in their words sin). It is a sacrament and according to teaching falls within the redemptive nature of Christ. They have programs that help women cope and return the church following an abortion.

      Plus there are many clergy that do not agree with this church teaching but are bound by obedience to obey what the Bishops tell them to do. As noted above, there are other medical issues that the church turns a blind eye to. Moreover I do not hear enough about the “right to life” campaigns extending to the issue of hydration and death penalties. It is not a pick an choose issue.

      I am not sure what is going on with the hard-nose stance that is currently going on. The church is doing more to alienate people and moving backwards. The mass changes with the new venacular is a perfect example. We are far from implementing the changes in Vatican II but the church changes and learns from its mistakes, it is not stagnant. Here I am scratching my head regarding the current events. Teach the faithful the law, the rest, by the grace of God’s gift of free will, they need to choose.


  10. Doc,

    Obviously you are impassioned about this issue and that obviously is your right. As a Catholic, having knowledge, teaching about this issue, and having a dialogue informing of the decision is fine and something I think we are all aware of. However the analogies really do not seem to fit. While groups can express what they believe what is right and wrong, there is still the fundamental right to the freedom of religion. What that means is the government should allow me to practice my faith. If they choose to pass laws such as this, as a Catholic I have the right to say no. Moreover if you look at the institutions that this applies to, the Church itself is exempt. Catholic hospitals, colleges, and other institutions do not exclusive employ Catholic, serve Catholics, or exclude any other faiths. Thus the church’s stance violates the rights of the non-catholics that work for them. Moreover, as my note above indicates, there is silence on other issues that are equally important.

    Finally, if you want to talk about taxpayer dollars of Catholics not going to support these programs, I believe you will agree that there are a whole host of programs and things supported by your taxdollars that violate church teaching and I would suspect that even in your own personal life, there is the whole issue of fair-trade and violating child-labor laws or buying products from countries that practice infantcide.

    This is certainly a slippery slope and I think friendly dialogue is appropriate. I am glad you read this and commented, but urge you to be considerate with your comments. In the USA we have freedoms and certainly we can reject others beliefs, but the descriptions you used above are borderline offensive and detract from the discussion at hand.

    The bottom line, does the Church have the right to make laws that violate a free citizens rights (regardless of conception or anything else).


  11. Michele:
    The mission of the Catholic Church is mainly to save souls, through her sacraments, prayers and works. The first spiritual work of mercy is to inform the ignorant.

    The fact that many Catholic persons and non-Catholic employees use or have used contraception is irrelevant, really, to the issue of the mission and works of the Church. All people sin; this is a given in any circumstance, so this is not an issue.

    The government mandate is like asking Alcoholics Anonymous to open a tab for their members. And with the latest “compromise” it’s saying the tab can only be used for food but the bar must supply alcoholic drinks for free.

    The fact that 95% of AA members use or have used alcohol.or even plan to continuing to use alcohol despite being members of AA is irrelevant. AA should be able to run itself in a way that does not go against their mission.

    Of course, one may obstinately choose to ignore the teachings of the Church. One may also choose to listen to the teachings of the Church. Either way, it’s not for the Church to condone the sin or enable it; her mission is to inform of sin, and heal from sin, through forgiveness of sin, and the firm purpose of amendment by the penitent, upon whom will fall the Grace of God, to overcome future temptations to sin. (Matt 16:18).

    It is good that in America, under the Constitution, we have freedom of religion. A good government makes being good possible, through freely allowing, not hindering, good consciences to be formed by good teachings. The government must not go behind the backs of good teachers and push them to peddle harmful drugs against the good conscience of the Church, spelled out in her teachings, and enforced by the laws of God, Who never changes (Heb 13:8).

    God has no Plan B.


  12. Doc, I apologize for not making myself clearer in my previous statement. I was commenting on number 7. birth control pills, which was stated in points, listed in the aticle. I should have said “concieved” yet “concieved” may end up in “born”, which is why you thought I meant abortion. I believe people want to be and should be responsible for their actions. Birth control, (not meaning abortion being used as birth control) is what I meant by not understanding why the Catholic Church continues to have ethical issues on this matter. Abstinence for the married members of the Catholic Church is bound to in the end have more pregnancies than the married couple can afford. It would not be responsible for a married couple to continue to have so many children and not be able to pay/feed/clothe them.


  13. This was a well-written and informative article that I think sheds a light on the real issue regarding contraception. I also strongly believe that the ever-present controversy that has been with us for decades regarding contraception and also abortion has always been about one thing and one thing only; a woman’s right to choose. As long as I can remember, there has always existed and still exist in our society, ways for others to control women’s body and voice. I cant help to wonder why there hasn’t really been any debate, controversy or even stance on law such as this one (at least to my knowledge) regarding men and how they choice to express themselves sexually. Why are we not having the same “political rhetoric” regarding condoms as we do for women? Why the constant need to make women feel imprisoned by their body, soul and mind. In the end, this is what the law really represent for me; a way to imprison women by taking away their most fundamental right as human being; free will and a right to choice how to live ones life. Therefore, I undoubtedly believe that the church has no kind of right to violate a free citizens rights weather they are catholic or non-catholic.
    Furthermore, a women should not have to be forced to choice between being faithful to church or simply being a woman with a free will—if she cant not be both, then I strongly believe that the church have really lost the true message from God and what he believed our earth should represent; not only for some, but for all…..


  14. One of the reasons I enjoyed reading “Feminism & Religion” is because of its previously overwhelmingly respectful and thoughtful dialogue. It felt like a safe place to express and explore ideas which might not be popular, but which merited consideration. I found this blog to be a refreshing change of pace from the usual level of commentary on unmoderated blogs discussing feminism or religion — which generally consisted of rude, repetitive, ranting diatribes insisting the author’s (usually authoritarian) soapbox was correct and all who disagreed were morons doomed to hell.

    Maybe it’s time for “Feminism & Religion” to consider instituting some rules for commenting… because IMNSHO some of the repetitive commentary on this posting detracts from the valuable service such a blog offers the religious feminist community.


    1. Yes, agreed, and thank you for this suggestion. We do have a comment policy for the blog, it can be found on the “About” page, but we may need to put it in a more prominent place. It states the following:

      We welcome comments and appreciate all viewpoints shared. Please be respectful and share with the intent of furthering dialogue and creating community. Personal attacks and insults will not be posted – nor will unsolicited ads or plugs. Thanks for honoring our policy and we look forward to expanding dialogue and building community with all who are interested.

      Also, we do moderate our comments, trying to keep that tricky balance of including a diversity of perspectives while maintaining constructive tone, something that is often admittedly harder than expected!

      Each of us contributes to making this blog a constructive place for expanding dialogue and building community, or not.

      May we each bring the best we have to offer.


  15. Excuse me, I’ve been informed I should be crystal clear, and not dance around the issue. Therefore I will state flat out my reasons for suggesting this blog implement some form of moderation or rules for commenting: I believe Doc Kimble’s repeated diatribes are not conducive to thoughtful, respectful dialogue.


  16. I’ve never blogged before, but this is an important issue and I’d like to follow Mona’s train of thought for a moment: if women’s birth control shouldn’t be covered by religious-affiliated organizations, then why is Viagra unquestionably covered? Philosophically speaking, why is impotence NEVER considered to be the “will of God?” What if God wills impotence as a divine means of population control via the male side of the equation, thereby naturally reducing unwanted pregnancies? I find it curious that male impotence is without question considered a “medical condition,” but that pregnancies arising from encouraging male erections – well, tough cookies, ladies.

    Separation of church and state is one issue: sexual discrimination in coverage options is another. Of course, I am in favor of healing male impotence – but if women must self-pay for birth control, why shouldn’t men self-pay for ED drugs, especially if the organization objects to female birth control on the grounds that sex is meant for reproduction and not recreation?


  17. In a nutshell, the government must make sure that all people in the USA have access to the same drugs and prescriptions. If a hospital or religious institution decides to treat all kinds of people, hire others of different faiths, or provide services to non believers or non-followers, this must include contraceptive services. The organizations cannot pick and choose what is available and what is not. Either provide contraception for all, or deny any treatment to all non-Catholics. By allowing others to join, all are entitled to all benefits provided under any health care and insurance laws. A religious organization that administers to others ceases to be a religious organization when it coes to setting policies. In addition, people in the USA have the right to dissent, so if a Catholic wants contraceptive services covered, the organization must follow the letter and the spirit of the health care laws set in place by the federal and state governments. The banning of contraceptives is sexist against females if pills related to male sexual performance are also not banned


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