Relaymedia

Catholic Charities Forced to Follow Contraceptive Mandate

( [email protected] ) Mar 09, 2004 07:22 PM EST

Washington, DC -- The California Supreme Court ruled for Catholic Charities to provide contraceptives to its employees.

Under California's contraception mandate, exemptions apply to religious organizations, but since the workers are not necessarily a part of the Catholic Church, Catholic Charities were disqualified from this exemption. These charities also offer aid and counseling to all types of people, regardless of their religious background, thus further convincing the California court of its decision.

"The key issue here is not even the important question of the ethics of birth control, but the fundamental freedom to follow the dictates of one's conscience and of the teachings of one’s religious faith," said Executive Director David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association.

"Faith-based organizations must retain the freedom to follow religious and ethical beliefs in matters regarding issues such as birth control," stated Stevens.

"This case presents a picture of the Catch-22 that some would use to hamstring faith-based organizations. On one hand, they fight laws that would allow faith-based organizations to restrict hiring to those who follow its religious teachings. Then on the other hand, as soon as faith-based organizations hires others, they say it's no longer a faith-based organization and loses religious and conscience freedoms. The hypocrisy is stunning -- but not surprising, given abortion activists' drive to force their political agenda on everyone who disagrees with their views."

Abortion activist groups including Planned Parenthood have been fighting for the regulation of contraception mandates and against conscience protection laws.

"What we are seeing in this country is a wholesale movement to deny healthcare professionals the right to follow their own consciences, especially in matters regarding reproduction," commented Gene Rudd, MD, executive director of CMA Associate. "Mandating abortion training for New York City residents in training, forcing pharmacists to fill prescriptions that violate their consciences, and requiring faith-based organizations to violate their religious teachings are all serious violations of our constitutional freedom of speech and religion. Even those who disagree with the teachings of religious organizations should recognize that denying the constitutional freedoms of one group is a threat to the constitutional freedoms of every one of us."