Opinion: Religion fighting in a modern day society

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber is a columnist

for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

The Catholic Church is more upset than ever with the Obama administration as a result of the ruling that will require all employers to provide health insurance plans that will cover contraception for its employees.

This will also be enforced in Catholic schools, colleges and hospitals. The Catholic Church, which is against the use of any kind of contraception other than natural family planning, is outraged at this ruling, calling it “an assault on religious liberty.”

Bishops from dioceses nationwide have written letters to be read at mass, calling upon their parishes to demand that this law be overturned.

As both a Catholic and a supporter of President Obama, my reaction was ambivalent to say the least. I can see where the Church is coming from; it’s kind of a slap in the face when an institution’s religious liberty is put on the back burner and it’s suddenly required to financially condone the same practices it speaks out against.

But the real issue here is that many of the Church’s teachings are simply not feasible anymore. The Church has always associated the use of contraception with abortion. They are not the same thing, and we all know it.

Contraception is used to prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring, not to get rid of pregnancies that have already been conceived. In addition, certain forms of contraception such as the pill are often used for reasons other than pregnancy prevention.

The Guttmacher Institute released a study that showed 14% of women on the pill — 1.5 million women — are using the pill for non-contraceptive reasons such as the prevention of cramps and menstrual pain, menstrual regulation and side effects and treatment of endometriosis.

Another Guttmacher Institute survey recently found that 98% of sexually active Catholic women have used some sort of birth control. A recent CNN poll showed that 78% of Catholics think the next Pope should allow birth control.

So who exactly is objecting to the passing of this law? I doubt many non-Catholic employees would argue with having contraception covered by their health care provider. And it doesn’t appear that we Catholics are too upset about it either, since most of us were using contraception anyway.

Perhaps our Church leaders feel that by providing health care for contraception, Catholic institutions are compromising the very values upon which its religion was built. But if those values aren’t even agreed with and abided by the followers of Catholicism, how can we impose them on employees of Catholic-based companies that aren’t even Catholic themselves?

Better question: How many people using contraceptives does it take to show that safe sex isn’t evil?