catholic business should have the right to deny birth control in health coverage

So far all I've heard in this case (anyone know the name?) is the argument that employers shouldn't have the right to deny women birth control coverage in their health care plans, and I've been wondering, why the hell not? Here is my reasoning:


First there is the question of whether businesses should be allowed to hire people based on their convictions. I fully support businesses being able to not hire smokers, for example. Personally, cigarette smoke makes me violently ill, and just smelling it on someone's clothes even long after they had their fix has this effect. I wouldn't be able to work with smokers (and I've had to leave some jobs for this very reason), so I would want to work somewhere that didn't allow smokers to work alongside me, and if I owned a business I wouldn't want to have to hire anyone who was going to make me sick through their actions. But perhaps this is a special case.


On the other hand, there are other ways to be discriminating about whom one would or would not hire. What about being allowed not to hire people based on skin color, or gender, or sexual orientation, or age, etc? This area remains pretty grey to me, because on the one hand there should be plenty of opportunities for people of all stripes to find work, but since we can't seem to figure out how to make employment available to everyone, it is not fair to discriminate on such criteria. Still, in a world where competition takes place on a level playing field, I think there is merit to allow any kind of discrimination one wants. My belief is that the businesses that discriminated according to such criteria would simply fail because they would be less competitive than those that did not.


Which brings me to the Catholics. If they want to deny birth control coverage in their health plans to their employees, ideally the employees would just leave and find work elsewhere, which would make the Catholic businesses less competitive, and I think would also make Catholicism less competitive in the marketplace of ideas. The only objection I can find to this line of reasoning is that it is just too hard to find work these days, and allowing businesses to stand up for their convictions would only exacerbate a difficult job market. Do you see things differently or the same?

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I don't think the argument would work, even if they were directly paying for birth control - so long as other employers were required to pay directly for birth control.  The whole argument put forth  by the Catholic Church in this case is, to put it mildly, phony and spurious.  The 1st Amendment's religion clause says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” 

They're screaming a violation of the free exercise portion, when no one is making them take birth control. It's the "establishment" clause which is being violated when they are given an exemption from the laws governing other employers - based solely on their brand of superstition. Rather than putting the onus on the employee to find another job, the real solution is to tell the employer that if you don't like the rules of the marketplace, either work to change them for everyone, or simply get the hell out.

Good reply Pat. I agree.

There's too many people in the world, our resources are stretched further than an octomom, and we're suppose to pretend that the future guarantees a comfortable existence particularly for our McDonald's addicted kids? We need a hit-or-miss chemical in the drinking supply, otherwise human beings are going to outbreed their resources. 

yay chalk one up for child-rapists

Personally I find the Catholic aversion to birth control silly, but I don't think any employer should be told by the government what to cover. If they want to cover birth control great, but they shouldn't be forced to.

Hey Andrew, yeah that was pretty much my thoughts when I started this discussion, but I think Pat's argument is unassailable. There should not be religious exemptions which favor religious businesses. If they want to be in business, they ought to play by the same rules as everyone else, on a level playing field.

I don't think it should matter if they are religious or not I have a problem with the government telling employers how to run their business. There are always limits of course, but this is pretty basic.

I would have the same problem if the government tried to bar businesses from covering birth control for their employees.

It sounds pretty silly to say that one has "a problem with the government telling employers how to run their business" as if it were some kind of general rule. Would you have a problem with government telling businesses not to dump poisons into our drinking water? Or forcing them to provide safe working conditions for their employees? Or enforcing anti-discrimination laws?


The point is that it is not a coherent "general philosophical perspective" that government should keep their noses out of the practices of businesses. The only legitimate perspective one can take is to decide in which specific capacities this should be the case, and in which it should not.

I did say in my post that there are limits and providing safe working conditions, not allowing discrimination and reasonable environmental standards are fine but how is it the employer's problem to be responsible for covering their employees' birth control?

If they want to that's fine and the employee should be grateful, but to force them. This is micro managing.

I agree with you that providing birth control is not in the same league with these other things. As to whether all businesses should or should not be required to provide it through their health insurance, I'm not convinced either way. On one hand, I favor more health benefits over less. On the other hand, I don't think businesses should be required to provide either health care or retirement benefits to their employees, as I see this as a responsibility of the state, not of its individual entities.

If the Catholics want to deny women birth control they should be made to pay for every child that woman has. That is my business and if your not going to help me raise my child stay out of my uterus!

 Every person who works for a religious entity aren't necessarily religious. So a person like me or you, would be made to subscribe to their beliefs just to work there. Last I checked this is America and we don't roll like that.

It's less expensive to pay for PREVENTIVE care than it does for 9 months of pregnancy and delivery. Birth control cost women about 800 per year(give or take a few dollars) 9 months of pregnancy cost about 8-10,000 and thats not including a woman who may have a high risk pregnancy.

It works in the favor of the companies. This was a wedge issue. You see the Republicans can't run on any accomplishments so they are trying to distract the voter with this BS.

I found it funny how the Catholics were yelling and screaming about the "war on religious freedoms" but when their Priest were touching children no one said a word! Instead they HID the sickos untill the statue of limitations ran out. Where were the press conferences on that? Yeah exactly! This is a fake issue. Unfortunately, some people thought it was something worth talking about. I am genuinely sorry you wasted your time even thinking about this.

I mean no disrespect I am just shedding some light on the REAL issue for you. I hope you have a great day!


Pretty good response Nara! Just so you are aware, I was being deliberately provocative with this discussion post. If you will read my responses herein you will realize that I was never really committed to the idea, only as a hypothetical to see how far one could push the idea of competing with religions to bring them down. Too bad this is one area in which my idea would not work. I actually agree with your perspective 100%. Thanks for the response!




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