Contraception Flap

Here’s a copy of my recently published Times-Picayune letter to the editor (March 2012)…

Re: “Contraception rule splits America,” Page A1, Feb. 10.

It is ironic that the bishops in the contraception coverage flap rest their case on religious freedom. President Obama’s plan lets every woman make her own reproductive health decisions based on her own faith and conscience.

The bishops object, claiming for themselves the right to dictate to those women what choices are acceptable. Henry Fielding had a great definition of hypocrisy: “concealing vices under the appearance of their opposite virtues” — exactly what the bishops are doing when they claim religious freedom to justify religious compulsion.

Let churches have their longstanding exemption for core-mission employees, but when running hospitals and universities, they should allow their employees and students the same freedom of conscience allowed by other private enterprises.