By Judie Brown
The Trump administration’s announcement, published in the Federal Register, limits the manner in which the Obama contraceptive mandate can be imposed on entities and religious groups. The rule provides a modicum of protection for those who have moral objections to being ordered by the government to provide contraception.
Regardless of what the regulation really says, it has really created a stir. Yet the proposed regulation makes it clear right up front that “these interim final rules expand exemptions to protect moral convictions for certain entities and individuals whose health plans are subject to a mandate of contraceptive coverage through guidance issued pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
As Wesley J. Smith observed: “The Trump administration said colleges, faith-based nonprofits and for-profit companies can now avoid the mandate by claiming a religious or moral objection instead of submitting the paperwork, while publicly traded companies must pinpoint a religious objection to claim an exemption.”
Trump’s action amounts to a minor change, yet media frenzy has catapulted it into a major life or death struggle over women’s rights! Headlines such as “Reproductive Rights Advocates Decry Contraception Move” and “Trump Contraceptive Move Could Lead to More Abortions” totally miss the point of what the president is doing to protect freedom of conscience in America.
But at a more fundamental level, the arguments of our opposition show once again that truth never has much to do with what Planned Parenthood and its cronies want the public to think. Further, when physicians weighed in, issuing a statement called “Physicians Decry Trump's Rollback of Contraceptive Mandate” that totally ignored the facts, an immediate response was issued by Ralph A. Capone, MD.
Capone’s statement on how these physicians have misled the public is critical to understanding what is fundamentally wrong with those who cannot accept the fact that the government should not be involved in promoting chemicals and devices that are dangerous to women and deadly to preborn babies. Capone wrote in an e-mail:
There is so much that is hype and overreaction to this “statement” by many physicians and medical students. This ruling will affect very few individual women; it doesn’t “outlaw” contraception and at most, for those who work for an insured group who opposes the ACA mandate, they can still get it with a co-pay. Even the article estimates there to be only about 200 companies that this order will liberate from this mandate which opposes their conscience rights.
The physicians write, too, of the clear science supporting the safety of contraception and great healthcare outcomes benefitting the public good—as though by writing it this way, it just makes it so. The World Health Organization lists hormonal contraceptives as a Class I carcinogen. Also, among other concerns there has been a reduction in fertility (yes, correlation is not causal but good science at least explores and doesn’t ignore this important fact). There are environmental issues (e.g., the pollution of a majority of rivers, some estimates at 80 percent of American rivers, with estrogen byproducts). Where is the environmental outrage at the harm done to the aquatic biome (e.g., the development of intersex fishes)?
None of these are moral or religious concerns or dangers. To be sure, those dangers—the moral and religious ones—are not insignificant. But our society and the culture have rapidly developed a tin ear (or a hardened heart) for these issues that are even more potentially pernicious to individual souls concerning the purpose of sex, the meaning of authentic love, and the understanding of the mystery (sacramentum) of marriage in which two become one and images the mystery of God in His unity and fecundity, and of Christ and His Church (the bridegroom and His bride).
Finally our times have denied the gift of children.
NOTE: We invite you to read Dr. Capone’s complete full statement here.
What is our takeaway? Well, it’s really quite simple. We live in a nation of nitwits who market misinformation categorized as news. We see the lies, the half-witted attempts at telling the story, and the exaggerations that have no basis in fact. Many people are frustrated by this and ask what they can do.
We all have the power to effect change. There is so much we can do. Begin by praying for our nation. Then teach your children the profound truths about the value and dignity of the human person. Use the CLSP tools to teach them about the wrongs Planned Parenthood and its allies have perpetrated by deceiving women—young and old—about birth control and abortion. And encourage all people to speak out and defend the vulnerable by becoming activists for life! Invite Stop Planned Parenthood International (STOPP) into your community to help. When we take steps to rid our nation of the culture of death, we will see it slowly wither away into nothingness.