With regard to the HHS Mandate, Gregory J. Sullivan maintains that "Nothing less than the religious liberty of a host of exemplary Americans is at stake" (Oppressive view of religious liberty approaches fanaticism, 10/4/13). With regard to that same mandate, John E. Slezosky maintains that "Because contraception and abortion may be part of an employee benefit does not make the provider of the benefits — the employer or the insurance company — the party responsible for their implementation. The choice to utilize either or both of the benefits is solely a matter of an employee’s conscience" (Why religious institutions should not be exempt from the law, 11/3/13). Personally, I think that both Sullivan and Slezosky may have the "accent on the wrong syllable."
Now don't get me wrong - I wholeheartedly agree with Sullivan that requiring contraception and abortion is an assault on religious liberty. The flip side of the coin is requiring contraception and abortion is bad medicine - it's awful medicine! Perhaps, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has shied away from this side of the coin, in the belief that we would attract more allies by emphasizing religious liberty.
Catholic health care ethics are completely consistent with the original wording of the Hippocratic Oath: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” It maintains that each and every patient (including the one not yet born) is to be treated as the health care practitioner should treat God! Recognition of the sanctity of human life from the very first moment of fertilization is not some sort of religious peccadillo: "At the instant of fertilization, your baby's genes and sex are set. If the sperm has a Y chromosome, your baby will be a boy. If it has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl" (Pregnancy and Conception, WebMD). Any subsequent interference with the fertilized egg is properly called abortifacient and not contraceptive.
Catholic health care ethics also recognizes the sanctity of how each and every human life is meant to begin. At a time of enhanced awareness about chemicals and additives in foods, it is incredibly ironic that people would ingest chemicals or utilize foreign objects to “protect” themselves from fertility. Somehow, documented problems with these chemicals and foreign objects gets lost in the haze. Essure and Yaz/Yasmin are just two examples:
While the HHS Mandate will help to subsidize the already affluent pharmaceutical industry, mandating insurance coverage for contraception and abortion is terrible "medicine." In contrast to chemicals and foreign objects, NaPro Technology has had tremendous success in teaching fertility awareness — for achieving or postponing pregnancy.
Why should any one of us instead be forced to subsidize abortion and contraception?