The religious right and the Catholic hierarchy are aggressively lobbying Congress and the Obama administration to deny contraceptive coverage to American families guaranteed to them as part of health care reform. Government policy should be based on the public interest, not religious doctrines.

The religious right claims: Houses of worship are not exempted from the regulation.

Houses of worship and similar organizations are, in fact, exempted from the regulation. Plus, as a result of a compromise, employees of religiously affiliated organizations will be able to access contraceptive coverage if they want it. “Critics of the Obama administration are currently advocating for a much broader exemption for all sorts of enterprises, whether or not they have a religious affiliation.

The religious right claims: The regulation is a violation of religious freedom.

The regulation does not violate the Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty. “Corporate conscience,” if there is such a thing, should not take precedence over the conscience rights of individuals and it should never be an excuse to deny rights to anyone. Corporations are not people.


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