Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The HHS' Proposed Health Care Regulations

The Department of Health and Human Services is busy creating new rules and regulations for health care. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops has stepped up and spoken out against several of the proposed rules, especially those which deal with life issues and religious freedom.
Today, I would like to explain these rules and why the church finds them objectionable.

The Catholic Church maintains that life is both good and sacred, because it has been created by God.  Therefore, we do not support actions which destroy life, such as abortions or warfare.  We also do not support contraceptives, such as condoms or birth control pills, which actively prevent the creation of life.

#1. Preventative Services.  The first major problem with the proposed health care regulations is that they place pregnancy on the list of diseases covered by preventative services.  Pregnancy is not a disease; it is a natural, healthy process, and it is how each of us came into being.  While the Catholic Church promotes abstinence outside of marriage, we do not believe that the government should actively try to prevent pregnancies.

#2. Contraceptives.  The second major problem with the proposed health care regulations is that they require all health care providers to provide contraceptive drugs and sterilization procedures to their clients.  This includes abortion drugs, which are disguised under the title of "emergency contraceptives".  Again, these mandates apply to everyone, regardless of your personal views or beliefs on contraception and abortion.  The current California laws on abortion, which are flawed enough as it is, state that the right to abortion is a woman's choice.  The Federal government now seeks to remove that choice by making access to abortion pills mandatory.

#3. Exemptions.  The rules for religious exemptions and conscientious objectors are incredibly limiting.  For example, the only way a Catholic hospital can avoid is if every single person who works in the hospital is Catholic, and every single person who goes to the hospital is Catholic.  This is a horrible exception clause, because it legally prohibits our hospitals from helping everyone in need; it requires us to practice religious discrimination against non-Catholics.  Jesus himself helped everyone, no matter what their religion was.  The government should not force us to act contrary to Jesus' life and teachings.

In conclusion, the Catholic Church does not support the government's proposed rules and regulations concerning health care.  All concerned Americans are highly encouraged to contact their elected representatives and let them know our opinions.

The US Declaration of Independence affirms that everyone is created by God, which means that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These proposed regulations aim to end life, and they do not allow for the liberty of religious or moral freedom.  They are therefore both anti-Catholic and anti-American.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Michael, I guess you've never known anyone who ended up with an unplanned pregnancy and didn't have a safe way to end the pregnancy available to them. Women have thrown themselves down staircases and pulled other dramatic and dangerous stunts to "miscarry." Access to a safe alternative should be mandatory. Abortion should be discouraged, but legal. Also, did you know that Catholic women are the religious group with the highest percentage of abortions? I think it's linked to the anti-contraceptive stance. I think Catholic and other religious hospitals should be allowed to refuse to provide abortions and birth control, but if government funding is involved, then there isn't much they can do. The county/city hospital should provide these services. Any workers who are against them should work somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I understand why the Catholic church encourages their population not to use measures that prevent pregnancy, but I don't see where having these services available to everyone is something the Catholic church can complain about. Say a Catholic woman wants to have an abortion in spite of the religious teachings she was raised with. Could the hospital look at her information and say "sorry, we can't give you these services because you're Catholic. You'll have to leave." Of course not.
Similarly, it's not like every woman in the nation will now HAVE to start using condoms. No one is going to make you use these services if you do not wish to, regardless of why you do not want to use them.
Birth control is not just for those wishing to prevent pregnancy. I was raised Catholic but I take birth control pills because I have endometriosis. In a grand fit of irony, if I don't take birth control for most of my life, I'll probably be robbed of the ability to ever have children. Am I committing a sin by doing this? Frankly, I don't think so and I'm offended by the several priests that have tried to tell me otherwise.
Condoms are also essential to preventing the transmission of STDs. I understand this is not an issue if you avoid premarital sex in the first place, but since people are not doing so maybe the Catholic church should spend more time trying to improve the morality of their followers rather than trying to take away the few options left that will keep them safe.

Inky said...

I actually agree with Arglefumph.
Abortion has terrible consequences for the abortionist herself!
It may cover up the "mistake" or get rid of it but did you also know that it raises your risk of breast Cancer?
It's true and scientifically proven, in short abortion causes breast cancer because your body has built up so much hormones that are made to support you & the baby that with no outlet to release all these hormones, it instead then triggers breast cancer.
I'm not going to impose onto a girl that she must Never commit abortion, but I will try to suggest to her a different alternative.
Every pregnant girl should know this when they are studying into abortion.
True: People need- no, MUST make their own choices, however damaging the consequences. We will never be able to control anyone but ourselves, but still, those who do consider abortion Have to be aware of the lasting effect it will have on them, if not the baby. And what the Doctors will not so readily tell you is the strong percentage of breast cancer to abortionists.

I don't agree with the government making it mandatory for abortion pills. But also it is your life so no one should dictate it but you.

I believe 100% in free will...

But you must also not be blind to what your choice may lead you to in the future.
Also to Anonymous at 10:00am I'm not even graduated from college yet, and I knew a girl who was pregnant when I was 9yrs old and several more. No one can escape the knowledge of pre-marital pregnancies. :(
Seriously, think of it this way, how would you have felt if your mother had carried out abortion when you were still attached to her? What would you have missed out on?
Yes, painful memories of the mistakes you've made, heartbreak, complete hopelessness maybe.
But also you would've missed out on laughter, the excitement you had on your first date, the experience of living your life.

Airam said...

Awesome! You hit the nail right on the head!

@Anonymous at top and 2nd to top

It was their own stupid fault they got pregnant in the first place, and besides, it is very unhealthy, and when in pregnancy are they considers "Human" with all their rights? If they throw themselves down a stair case, they are doing it is because they are selfish, and if they hurt themselves, it is their own fault, not the pro-life commissionaires, besides the whole abortion polices are trying to make immoral things sound good or normal, however it is not, and is just the same as taking drugs. They are not good things for you at all.
Inky has said all the consequences for abortion.

Hadley said...

@Airam I strongly agree.

Anonymous said...

Michael, you may be interested this 30-minute documentary that is described by the makers as "a project that has the potential to change the nation's view on abortion." Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI&feature=share

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the title: it's called "180" and was made by Ray Comfort.

Anonymous said...

I don’t understand the Catholic Church claims to be pro-life but they are against condom usage. Don’t they know that condoms prevent the spread of HIV and STDs as well as unplanned pregnancies? And would thus eliminate the need for getting an abortion.

Alana said...

@Airam Is it a woman's own "stupid fault" when she gets raped? I don't think so, nor do I think anyone with any intelligence would think so either.

Abortion should be a personal choice, period. Just as the government shouldn't be able to FORCE abortions, they shouldn't be able to FORCE you to keep the fetus to term. People who whine and moan about the government "having too much control" just confuse me. When you're fighting against a women's right to choose, you're fighting FOR the government to have more rights.

The government isn't forcing anyone to take birth control or abortion pills or get an abortion, anyway. Yes, in a normal circumstance if you take adequate & intelligent precautions with condoms or pills (or, even better, both) you most likely will not have a problem. But there are extenuading circumstances where a person deserves a choice. Someone's religious background will stop them from choosing abortion anyway, so why do people feel the need to force THEIR religious beliefs on everyone else? Just because some religions feel that way doesn't mean EVERYONE lives their lives by those particular religions, or that they should be forced to.

Sammy said...

I believe that abortion is wrong, And I would never do it if I was pregnant and I discourage anyone else to. If you don't want the baby, there is adoption. Abortion is legal murder and is one of the most cruel things I've ever heard. Just because the baby is not born doesn't mean it's not alive.

Contraception should be completely allowed. My friend used to sleep around before joining my church, and now has to use condoms to keep her husband from contracting an sti.

Anonymous said...

@Airam

"It was their own stupid fault they got pregnant in the first place...If they throw themselves down a stair case, they are doing it is because they are selfish, and if they hurt themselves, it is their own fault"

Selfish sometimes, I agree, but mostly these women are fearful. Fearful of blame (justified or not), and rejection by their family, friends, their partner, and fear of the Lord, whom they have sinned against. Fear is a dark, lonely world to live in, and it is so very easy to succumb to this. As children of God we are called to love and forgive each other just as He loves and forgives us our trespasses. The Casting Crowns song "Does Anybody Hear Her" is, in my humble opinion, a great reminder of this. "We can't see past her scarlet letter, and we never even met her..." Yes, there are consequences both earthly and heavenly for our sins, but I prefer to leave it to God to be the judge of character and blame, and to each individual's walk in faith. Hopefully, by the way we all live our own lives every day, and using the brains He gave us, we can kindly share the hope of salvation and God's all-redeeming love.

Hadley said...

I actually agree with Inky.

Film Geek said...

I wrote an apologetics speech on Abortion last year...maybe I'll post it through blogger and put a link to it later...

Argle, I agree with most of what you said, apart from the fact that I'm not Catholic, so there's just a slight teaching difference there. I am pro life however. :)

Anonymous said...

@ Inky. You were born after Roe v. Wade. Abortion has been legal your entire life. Everyone you knew had the option of getting an abortion. Once again, no one is being forced to use these options. They should be available in case someone does choose to use them. People make bad choices, and it's better to give them a way to fix it, rather than just shame them.

Anonymous said...

This is why we have such a huge debt. Can you imagine the cost of giving every woman birth control?
Hugely expensive!
Not to mention that some of the women won't even use them (because they don't need it or because they don't support abortion). Just look at all the different opinions here.
I think CA should continue with their old legislation of letting the women choose.
(But way to go Arglefumph for asking the difficult question!)

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with abortions, unless you get pregnant as a teen or younger.
BTW, did you know that condom holes are bigger than STI's and sperm?

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are pro life!!! i am very pro life and i think that the best way to prevent pregnancy is to abstain until marriage!! and of course, that is the way God intends. It is a human life and it should not be terminated. The baby is not just a "piece of tissue" it is a baby. I mean, what if your mom decided to abort you?
well thank you to anyone who reads this comment for reading it all the way through.

~Katie

Anonymous said...

to anonymous at 3:47, its still wrong for a teenager. they shouldn't even be getting pregnant in the first place, i personally think. and if they DO get pregnant, they should put the child up for adoption if they aren't ready to take care of him/her. that is the best choice.

Alana said...

They're not forcing birth control & condoms on people. They're presenting them as a choice rather than completely making them taboo to women. No one's gonna force birth control down your throat or give you birth control if you don't want it, I promise. And women do have to pay for their birth control, the government doesn't just give it away. They don't have to pay a lot (mine's like $15, a friend of mine pays under $10) but still, it's not just being handed out pro bono.

Anonymous said...

oh my god I didnt know the catholic church was totally 100 percent against war . thats awesome . and on the abortion thing, u know i get your point but im not a woman so i feel like i shouldnt have an opinion on this issue.

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