Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's not too late to stand up to the White House! (edited)

Please, go there and sign the petition, if you haven't signed one already.  It's morally bad for disregarding conscientious objection, it's legally bad for presuming that "to regulate commerce...among the several States" means "to mandate commerce between as well as wholly within each of the States," and it's ethically bad for perpetuating the myth that "Christian values" are best served by appointing Caesar the power to care for the poor and feed the lambs on our behalf.

I received a response from the White House on Friday, which I will be quoting liberally here.
Thank you for using We the People to make your voice heard about the Obama Administration's decision to ensure that women have access to free preventive care with no co-pays
"Free" and "no co-pays" are two different things.  This distinction is not consistently preserved, either throughout the rest of this form letter or in the debate at large.
[T]he Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to  cover preventive services, including preventive care for women, without charging a co-pay, starting on August 1, 2012
This part was interesting.  Until now, legal entities that objected were given a one year grace period in which to discover some sophistry for accepting what was still going to be inevitable.  Now that's off the table.

This part is important.  Jimmy Akin goes into a little more detail on this point.  In some ways it appears we lost ground by the USCCB using accommodating diplomatic language, but I don't think so.  Evil will do this when it is threatened in order to intimidate and distract you from casting it out.
As the President said: "Nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives"
I'm highly skeptical.  Until last week, I used to hear numbers that were much lower, and the claims were merely that Catholics contracepted at the same rates (over half, but no supermajority) as other Americans.  Suddenly it's all but a handful?  It's not impossible, but I'd be looking askance at such reports even if they weren't sourced by the Gutmacher Institute.
Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health
And every free citizen should be in control of the decisions that affect his or her own soul.  Let's not conflate "some people struggle to afford medical care" with "you must agree that fertility is a disease," let alone the other moral problems with arguments framed in terms of self-determination.
And I saw that local churches often did more good for a community than a government program ever could
I appreciate your...appreciation...but so what?  A screwdriver is great for driving screws, but you can't port that over to driving nails just because there's a compelling need for hammers.  There are reasons it just doesn't work like that.
If a woman's employer is a religious non-profit organization, such as a charity hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, her insurance company -- not the hospital or charity -- will be required to reach out and provide her contraceptive care free of charge if she chooses to use it.
Here's where we're supposed to remember that "free of charge" is, well, impossible in this world.  Who's paying the insurance company?  You and I. Why do people even think that the government can impose fines or fees on some corporate entity without said entity passing it straight along to the customer?  They don't even pretend to pass "you may not raise your prices to cover these costs" legislation to make any punitive damages more painful than the administrative hassle it would be to maintain profit levels.
There are tremendous health benefits for women that come from using contraception. Contraception is a safe and effective way of ....
No, it's not.  It can reduce the risk of some types of cancers, which is good, but prescription and OTC hormones range from "too weak to work on more fecund women" to "you'll literally bleed for the rest of your life."  I'm being dramatic, granted, but when the mere side effects are as bad as hemorrhaging and stroke, is prescribing it for something as prosaic as acne really the best way to go?  They prescribe the pill to alleviate irregular periods because it's easier than recommending an endocrinologist to actually cure irregular periods; does the side effect of good skin rise to the level of a "tremendous health benefit" that is proportional to the disregard of our consciences that make clear that certain things, while convenient, are still evil?  Because they still haven't established the point that pregnancy is itself is a disease which should be prevented (which is odd, since they're so happy about treating other "reproductive complications" and unrelated conditions with the pill).

I think I need to make that point clearer.  We hear things like "pregnancy would kill me," but it's a possibility of death for the mother versus, when it comes to the point of abortion, certain death for the child.  I don't want to get sidetracked, but the choice between "possible tragedy" and "definite evil" should not be a hard one.

Importantly, we also usually hear that pregnancy can cause things like peripartum cardiomyopathy, but the way it's usually billed is that pregnancy is the disease and PC is a symptom.  I sympathize that many of these complications are difficult to predict and only get discovered during pregnancy when only symptoms can be treated, but the problem with PC isn't the pregnancy, the problem is the heart.

I'm all for prevention, but let's not fall into "we wouldn't have these problems if we didn't know about them" thinking.
This is an issue where people of good will on both sides of the debate have been grappling to find a solution that works for everyone, and the policy announced today has done that.
The first half is right, unless it means "the policy announced today will further our ends, and will give you an opportunity to embrace white martyrdom," in which case I agree.
The right to religious liberty will be fully protected
If it were, there wouldn't be such an uproar.  I'm glad you're not my lawyer or neighborhood cop.
Here are a few statements from groups involved in the issue
Never mind.  Quotes from Catholics United, Catholic Health Association, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL.  They all make the reasonable point that this is supposed to help them help people who really need it, but PP and NARAL don't even throw a bone to folks who don't think that working evil is a safe and reliable way to achieve good.  Thanks, but no thanks for that dose of alleged perspective.

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