Jacology: Obamacare Birth Control Opt Out

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(KPLR) – In Friday's Jacology, Charles Jaco examines the change to the affordable health care act for religious institutions wanting to opt out of contraception coverage.  But not everyone is happy with the ruling.

The Obama administration today watered down its requirement under Obamacare that employers offer workers contraception and birth control as part of their health insurance policies. The White House now says religious groups are exempted if, their primary purpose is religious, if most of the people employed by them share their religious belief and most of the people they serve do the same.

This means tough stuff for employers like the hobby lobby chain and others, who have sued saying that the company owners are against contraception and that even offering birth control as part of an employee insurance package violates their religious beliefs. The administration says if your primary purpose is saving souls, you can opt out. If you’re primary goal is making money, not so much.

But when we talk about religions and birth control, what are we talking about? The Catholic Church of course opposes birth control.  The Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Mennonite churches have no problem with contraception. Hindus and Muslims allow birth control. Jews are split on the issue. Southern Baptists are okay with some contraception.

So when opponents of birth control say that requiring birth control coverage in health insurance tramples religious liberty, what are they really saying? They're saying that their religious belief trumps the right of anyone to pay for their own contraceptive coverage. They're saying that their belief is more important than the employee’s belief.

And it’s not even all beliefs. Catholics, Orthodox Jews and some protestant evangelicals oppose birth control. And that's it. No other religions are bothered by contraception. So it could be argued that favoring a ban on contraception coverage means favoring a few religions over everyone else.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.

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