Should Catholic employers be required to cover birth control?
via AP

Should Catholic employers be required to cover birth control?

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The University of Notre Dame is the first major employer to drop contraception coverage for its female employees and students. Obamacare had required employers to cover birth control, but new Trump administration rules offer exemptions if employers have religious or moral objections to providing such coverage. Critics say employers have no business imposing their religious beliefs on their employees, but others applaud the move as a victory for religious liberty. What do you think? 💊 

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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the new birth control rules, and a Notre Dame law student is one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

“No matter where a woman works or goes to school she should have coverage for basic health care services like contraceptives,” Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, told Indiana Public Media.

Critics of Notre Dame's decision pointed out that the Obama administration had devised a third-party system specifically to accommodate religious employers which would guarantee women were covered, but birth control was not paid for by the institution directly. The university had long been fighting to drop coverage entirely anyway.

But others point out that birth control is forbidden by the Catholic Church, and compelling a Catholic university to aid women in accessing birth control violates their religious beliefs.

And some say the uproar is ridiculous. Birth control is not so prohibitively expensive that women cannot afford it on their own. Being sexually active is a choice, one that a Catholic university should not be held responsible for.

Many Catholics regard birth control methods such as intrauterine devices and birth control pills as akin to abortion and murder. They say you cannot ask Catholics to pay for such things.

But critics say this isn't about cost: it's about an institution denying women healthcare and reproductive freedom based on patriarchal sexual morality judgments, a la the Republic of Gilead. They say Notre Dame's decision has to be viewed in the context of numerous assaults on women's freedom. 

But supporters of the religious exemptions scoff at the idea that women's rights are being curtailed by this decision.

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