It’s nice to see non-Catholic religious leaders joining with the Catholic bishops to oppose the Obama Administration’s attempt to redefine “religious” groups in the HHS mandate, but it seems too many are missing out on the fact that the right of individual Catholics to freedom of conscience is also at stake.
A coalition of nearly 150 religious leaders, led by conservative Protestants, have petitioned the Obama administration to broaden the exemption that allows churches and some religious organizations to avoid a controversial new mandate that all health care insurers provide free contraception coverage.
Okay, but what about Catholic business owners? The bishops are forgetting their conscience rights. It’s important that all Catholics be allowed to object to paying for abortion coverage in health plans, not just entities that are under diocesan control. We are not just Catholics when we are at Mass on Sunday. We are Catholics all the time, including when we go to work.
Exemptions for religious institutions is not enough. All Catholics need to be free to object to paying for contraception.