Today, 43 separate Catholic institutions filed suit against the federal government challenging it’s mandate that all such institutions must provide health insurance that covers abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptives. This mandate violates the teachings of the Catholic Church.
I do not want to see a comment that says, “well, many Catholics already engage in those practices, so, what’s the big deal”. This mandate is not about what many Catholics may or may not already be doing, it’s about the federal government telling them what they must do.
Nor, do I want to see a comment that says, “well, these institutions get funding from the government, so…”. If the government doesn’t like what those institutions are doing, stop the funding.
Both are nothing more than left wing talking points.
The Catholic Church itself is exempt from this mandate, as are those Catholic institutions that primarily serve Catholics. The primary mission of the institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church is to help those in need regardless of their faith. To be exempt from the mandate must they now only help those who are Catholic, and employ only those who are Catholic?
Personally, I lost all respect for Notre Dame University when they invited the President to give their commencement address a few years ago, but, I agree in principle with the university’s comments today as they they filed their law suit. Typically, I am not prone to long quotes, but, this one is worth repeating.
This lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have a right to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. Those services are, and will continue to be, freely available in the United States, and nothing prevents the Government itself from making them more widely available. But the right to such services does not authorize the Government to force the University of Notre Dame (“Notre Dame”) to violate its own conscience by making it provide, pay for, and/or facilitate those services to others, contrary to its sincerely held religious beliefs. …
If the Government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the Government’s power. Such an oppression of religious freedom violates Notre Dame’s clearly established constitutional and statutory rights.
I disagree that abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptives are “rights” as claimed by Notre Dame. I have searched in vain for those “rights” in our Constitution, and have found nothing.
But, what I did find was the First Amendment.
This mandate is clearly unconstitutional, and it does not become constitutional because some Catholics have no problem with it, or because government gives your money to Catholic institutions.