Some of you may remember several months ago, when there was some controversy over new health care regulations that were being proposed. The regulations say that, among other things, all health care plans have to include contraceptives, abortions and pregnancy prevention. People who have moral objections to abortion are, well, pretty much out of luck. President Obama has recently given these health care regulations his personal thumbs-up, and they're set to go into effect next year.
As you might expect, there are some exemptions to this rule. Certain groups who have religious or moral objections to abortion do not need to comply with these laws. Groups that qualify for exemption include:
1. The Amish
2. Christian Scientists
3. Native Americans
Groups that do not qualify for exemption include:
1. The Catholic Church
Does anybody else see a problem with this? Clearly, there is a problem with these new laws, if they do not classify the Catholic Church as an "organization which has religious and/or moral objections to abortion". I'll spare you the specific details of why we don't qualify, but trust me, they're not logical.
I mean, just in general, if a law allows for religious exemptions, no particular religion should be excluded without just cause. Otherwise, you're getting dangerously close to religious discrimination (which is illegal) and to breaking the separation between church and state (which is also illegal).
So, the way things are now, it's starting to look like the government will force Catholic institutions to purchase something which violates their religious beliefs. Needless to say, the Catholic Bishops in the United States are very unhappy with this, and they have set up a conscience protection website to help people contact the government and learn more about the issues.
I'll keep you guys posted if there are any major developments. Right now, I'm hoping that either the laws will be rejected outright by Congress, or that the government will change the laws so all religious organizations that want an exemption can receive it. To deny an exemption to any religion--much less the largest religion in the world--without just cause is a gross miscarriage of justice.