“Ok, we’ll provide you with this coverage, but don’t use it!”
That appears to be the stance the Catholic Church is taking in Madison, Wisconsin, where a new law requiring that employers offer contraceptives in their health plans has just gone into effect. And the church is not happy about it at all. Via Newsradio 620:
Under a new state law, the Madison Catholic Diocese must offer birth control in its health insurance plan.
But a diocesan spokesman warns employees who use it could be fired. Brent King says contraceptives go against Catholic teachings:
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“And with the mandate that all of these policies need to have contraception coverage in it, it’s kind of in the face of directly in the face of what we believe,” King said.
Reproductive rights activists are applauding the change, especially due to the fact that the majority of Catholics use birth control for family planning. From KansasCity.com:
Reproductive health advocates, including the Washington-based Catholics for Choice, criticized the stand, calling birth control “basic health care.”
“The reality is the vast majority of Catholics use contraceptive family planning,” said David Nolan of Catholics for Choice. “And making them access it elsewhere or pay full price because they can’t get it through their insurance is a needless barrier.”
Because birth control is so popular, the church has come up with a master plan on how to deal with employees that might make full use of their benefits, a kind of contraceptive don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
[P]eople who work for the diocese must sign a morals clause agreeing to abide by Catholic teachings. King says they would only fire someone who is especially vocal about using birth control:
“No one would ever be terminated for sinning. We’re all sinners. It would take a very public defiance of what the church believes and teaches for someone to ever get terminated.”
But don’t worry, folks. You won’t get fired right away if you are caught using prohibited drugs. According to the Wisconsin State Journal:
Such a step [termination] would be taken only if the employee, after being counseled, refused to get in line with Catholic teaching, King said. “It wouldn’t be the first thing we do,” he said.
August 11, 2010
Supporters Of Colo. ‘Personhood’ Initiative Unveil Strategy To Gather Support – Medical News Today
Economic crisis rekindles Irish debate on abortion – Reuters UK
Carney calls Marino’s claims he ignored abortion vote ‘desperation’ – Towanda Daily Review
Ga. GOP Gubernatorial Race Hinges On Abortion, Other Social Issues – Medical News Today
Anti-abortion bus tour heading for Evansville Thursday – Evansville Courier & Press
An Anniversary of Consequence – First Things
What a country – Ventura County Star
Abortion foes fight Caritas Christi sale – ModernHealthcare.com
Abortion provider Planned Parenthood closes Redwood City office – Catholic San Francisco
‘Mad Men’ and the Politics of Abortion – Politics Daily
Gay Marriage: Leave It to the Voters – Wall Street Journal
The 10th Anniversary of the Choose Life Tag is Celebrated in the NJ State House – Christian News Wire
Young people favour friends for sex info – Sydney Morning Herald
Madison Diocese offers birth control insurance, but warns employees not to use it – Wisconsin State Journal
Family planning: AP set to go slow – Times of India
Young people favor GPs for contraception advice, survey reveals – International Business Times AU
Argentina’s Reproductive Policies Failing Women – Ms. Magazine
Madison Catholic Diocese Offers Contraceptive Coverage – Newsradio 620
Seeking Catholic Church employees affected by new law on contraceptives – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Contraceptive Pill to be given out by pharmacists – Healthcare Republic
It’s Time to Consider the Girl Effect on HIV – Huffington Post
International Youth Day aims to tackle sexual-health taboos – Daily Star – Lebanon
Addressing Nepal’s high maternity death-rate – Independent
August 12, 2010
CD8: Paton Endosed by Anti-Abortion Leader – Tucson Weekly
Young Hispanics in US losing Catholic identity, survey finds – Catholic Culture
Women’s Health Care in Political Jeopardy … Again – Austin Chronicle
A contraceptive mentality – Manila Bulletin
Contraception coverage collides with Catholic Church – Kansas City Star
USAID helps fight cervical cancer – South Africa.info
Breast is best, but not easy – Ottawa Citizen