EEOC Violates Religious Liberty of Catholic College

[quote=Catholic.org]By Forcing Catholic College to Provide Insurance for Contraceptives the EEOC violates the US Constitution.

MANASSAS, Va. (Cardinal Newman Society) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that a small Catholic college must include coverage for artificial contraceptives in its employee health insurance plan, raising new concerns about the need for conscience protections and religious exemptions in America’s health care policies.
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Continued here.

God Bless.

Chris.

I was doing some research on this issue and ran into this thread, so now I guess I’ll offer my two cents since no one else has.

I am a student here and I have been around a few years. I love this place. It is home to so many of us. I also am Catholic, and a fairly traditionally minded one at that, and I oppose the decision to have the college provide for contraceptives, but after doing some light research, I also oppose the way the college has dealt with the issue.

A link from the college website directs viewers to an article in the Wallstreet Journal (here). I read the article, and then I read the comments section and there are some well thought out posts from a former professor at the college. He states that the college fought not to be considered a religious institution in order to receive federal funds. He says the case can be found under 29 F.Supp. 871 in any book of law. I don’t have access to any, so I can’t back that up.

So, what we have is a liberal arts college that has to operate under the same laws as all the other colleges in NC. Unfortunately, this includes providing contraceptive along with a health care plane that covers other prescription drugs. It is considered unlawful to deny that coverage (we could argue if this law is just or not, but it isn’t the issue at hand). The college removed it anyways, and then used the “we’re a religious institution” argument. But the college is not a religious institution…according to law after it argued it wasn’t one itself.

Personally, I don’t want a college that sells itself as a beacon of Catholicity in a turbulent, indifferent, anti-religion world having to provide for services that directly oppose Catholic teaching. I don’t want that. I do want the college to pick a side though. Either we are or we are not a Catholic, religious institution. We can’t have it both ways.

The president did say he was willing to shut the doors of the college should they ever have to provide for contraceptives (article here). The Abbot of the monastery replied to a local paper (article here): “The idea that he would close the college is at best disingenuous."

So, I guess my response to the title of the thread “EEOC Violates Religious Liberty of Catholic College” would better be factually stated as “EEOC enforces regulation upon a Liberal Arts College with a Catholic heritage.” It isn’t easy to admit. The colleges decision to remove the coverage was in keeping with the teachings of the Church, and it should be applauded that they wish to do so. However, legally, they are wrong, and they must face the consequences of violating the law they operate under. If doing so will make the college better, then so be it.

I’m not against the college. I love it here. I just don’t like it when good people use shady tactics and dishonest means to achieve good ends. If this college wants to be 100% Catholic, I hope it will do so the right way.

:twocents:

Thank you, BAC Student for your well-informed perspective. It is important to understand the details in such matters.

Seems to me the college is stuck on the wrong side of the “rule of unintended consequences” when it fought for a secular status.

So it is the law that any health plan at a secular college must include contraceptive coverage? A college does not have the ability to make its own decision on the matter?

The rule is, unless you are a religious institution, you must provide contraception?

If this is the case, no way will I trust the government to be involved in healthcare.

I am not sure, but I believe the law in NC states that if an employer covers prescription drugs in its health care plan, then it must also cover contraceptives.

“By denying prescription contraceptive drugs, [the college] is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives,” the EEOC wrote in a letter to the North Carolina college. "By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women."The same reasoning could be applied to the morning-after pill, or, for that matter, to Viagra. Presumably the college would have to provide both, or face a finding of gender-based discrimination.

The WSJ article says this:

Increasingly it is clear to Catholics and other religious groups that without very clear exemptions for religious employers—and conscience protections for individual doctors, nurses, pharmacists—federal health-care laws and guidelines could severely restrict religious freedom in the U.S.

The government requires insurance companies cover all sorts of things they ought not cover. It’s one of the big reasons why health care costs are so high. Of course, even more government involvement will only make things better.

Right?

– Mark L. Chance.

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