Birth-control mandate clearly ideological

Published: February 7, 2012
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Regarding “State's Catholic leader calls birth-control mandate unjust” (News, Feb. 1): The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decision to mandate the coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs by religious-affiliated organizations is morally wrong. It's against religious freedom to force a religious group to pay for any act it finds morally reprehensible. Furthermore, this mandate is out of step with the goals of the recent health care act.

The new law was meant to lower costs and increase coverage. This mandate would do neither. It will cause religious organizations to drop coverage due to conscience. Moreover, if these employees look for comparable coverage, it will surely cost more in the private market. The motivation for this mandate is clearly ideological. The administration wants people to have and to use these medications and services. It is incrementally using its authority to shape public discourse. This decision only strengthens the administration's ideological viewpoint. It strains the imagination to see this as anything but an attack on religious groups.

Christopher Jay, Norman