The “Catholic compromise” on the “contraceptive mandate” does not satisfy Catholic and other opponents. Nor should it: it is a means for “death by demography.” The proponents’ own words betray their intent.
Catholic compromise still angers bishops
The so-called Catholic compromise merely shifts the costs from a given employer to his insurer. But such cost shifting never works. It only hides the cost. The insurer will now raise premiums for everyone, and won’t list the cost of giving out birth-control pills (or other contraceptive drugs or devices) to patients free-of-charge.
America’s Catholic bishops know this. Since the man now holding office as President announced the Catholic compromise, the bishops have answered him: Rescind the contraceptive mandate. They say that it
continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions.
Meaning that the government tries to tell churches, and the charities they run, what to do. The money was never the issue. The issue is that the government is telling these charities to enable sin.
We will therefore continue – with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency – our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government.
Meaning that the bishops will try to:
- Have Congress pass a law against the contraceptive mandate, and/or:
- Sue the government, saying that the contraceptive mandate violates their “free exercise of religion.”
(The bishops might want to contact Nick Purpura and Donald R. Laster Jr, who sued the government nearly a year and a half ago over the health care reform bill. Among other things, their suit says that the new law favors some religions over others. In related news, Purpura told CNAV this morning that he still has heard no word from the Supreme Court since he re-argued his case, Purpura v. Sebelius, Docket Number 11-7275.)
Frank York (Christian Response Alerts) wrote that “Obama rules as a tyrant” and called the Catholic compromise a “half measure.”
Catholics aren’t the only ones to complain. Pastor Alan B. Brown of Parsippany Baptist Church (Parsippany, NJ) shared with CNAV yesterday his worry that
the next thing you know, they’ll be telling us to fund abortions. And that would take it to an entirely new level.
Death by demography
The problem might already be at a “new level.” At least two Members of Congress have called the contraceptive mandate “preventive medicine.” Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said it last week. And Representative Gwendolynne Moore (D-WI) said this:
The National Institute of Health has said that it is a danger to women’s health and safety of their families, that for 30 years, to be exposed to the prospects of pregnancy.
That quote comes from The Daily Caller. Rush Limbaugh picked it up. He then inferred the obvious: Representative Moore, like Senator Boxer before her, just said that pregnancy is a disease. Worse yet, she said that when a woman falls pregnant, she can put the whole family at risk. (For what? She doesn’t say.)
That way lies death by demography. The United States is already in 135th or 136th place in crude birth rate, depending on whether one asks the UN or the CIA. (The crude birth rate is either 13.7 or 13.83 births per thousand person-years.) The United States fertility rate (births per woman of childbearing age) now stands at 2.05, less than the 2.1 needed to replace the occasional child who dies before he or she becomes an adult. So even if one grants the premise that the government ought to interfere with childbearing, government should not discourage childbearing. The contraceptive mandate does exactly this.
(Remember: Barbara Boxer once said that a newborn isn’t a person until the mother brings him or her home.)
The contraceptive mandate has two other things wrong with it:
- The birth control pill is bad medicine. It puts women at risk for cancer, bone thinning, fatal blood clotting, muscle loss, and heart disease. Using it for a long time can cause sexual problems. A woman who takes it all the time might even choose to marry someone with whom she is less likely to have children. (And when she stops using the pill, she might find that she married the wrong man, but never really know why.)
- The Catholic compromise tries to shift cost to the insurance company. But what if the charity involved self-insures? The compromise does nothing for them. (And Barack H. Obama should have known this ahead of time, given the experience of his alleged home State of Hawaii.)
An employer need not have a religious affiliation, or even a religious reason, not to give his employees something he thinks is bad, for them or for society. Government usually tells people not to do something, when that something can hurt others. Now the government is telling people to do something, something that puts women at risk (whether they know it or not) and threatens to kill our society (even if slowly).
Thus the Catholic compromise is no compromise at all. It pleases only those who know that it changes nothing, or think it changes something when it doesn’t.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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