Steve Schneck on Protecting Conscience

While everyone's attention is focused on the debt ceiling debate, another controversial matter may be overlooked. Over at NCR, Steve Schneck of Catholic University lays out the details of a new set of health care regulations due to be released next week:

On Aug. 1, Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius is set to release a new rule that will mandate certain medical procedures that must be covered by new insurance policies offered under the health care reform law. Existing policies will be “grandfathered” but if they undergo substantial changes, they too will have to abide by the new mandates.

Advertisement

Last week, the Institute of Medicine released its recommendations for procedures that should be mandated. These recommendations go a long way toward righting the disparities in coverage for women that have been long lamented. Some of the recommended procedures are both noncontroversial and will improve women’s health, such as a test for the HPV virus that is linked to cervical cancer. Other recommendations, however, are controversial, especially those that relate to sterilization and abortifacients......

The issue facing Sebelius is not contraception. The issue is conscience protection. The right of an American citizen to receive birth control or to obtain Plan B does not trump the right of a doctor to decline to participate in procuring an abortion. Nor does it trump the right of a citizen to decline to purchase a policy that pays for procedures they find morally repugnant. You do not have to share that moral repugnance to share the concern that violating the conscience of others runs against the entire spirit -- and in the case of Catholic church ministries, against the very letter -- of the First Amendment.

Read the rest.

Tim Reidy

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Martin Gallagher
7 years 1 month ago
Good post

Advertisement

The latest from america

Youths attending a pre-synod meeting participate in the Way of the Cross at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome on March 23. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The meeting of the Synod of Bishops on young people is an opportunity for an ongoing conversation between everyday lived experience and church teachings.
Michele DillonSeptember 21, 2018
Pope Francis ends his official visit to Vilnius on Sunday evening at the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, housed in the former headquarters of the K.G.B.
Edward W. Schmidt, S.J.September 21, 2018
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he stay at home to remain with them during this "time of crisis" in the U.S. church.
Catholic News ServiceSeptember 21, 2018
Girls gather for celebrations marking the feast of the Assumption in August 2012 in Aglona, Latvia. Twenty-five years after St. John Paul II visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Pope Francis will make the same three-nation visit Sept. 22-25, stopping at a number of the same places as his saint-predecessor. (CNS photo/Ints Kalinins, Reuters)
He is the second pope to visit these Baltic nations. John Paul II came to the region in September 1993, after the collapse of communism, and was welcomed as a hero. Pope Francis comes exactly 25 years later, but much has changed since that first papal visit.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 21, 2018