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Employers Should Stay Out of Contraception Decisions

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To say that I find Dale Blumfield's Back Page essay offensive is putting it mildly. For you to offer your opinion about the politically charged war on women, and for me, and women in general, to consider your opinion as valid or worthy, you would need to be of the female gender.

As long as a religious institution receives federal funding, they cannot choose to whom they will and will not provide benefits. The health insurance benefit provided to their employees, who may or may not subscribe to their same ideology, is merely that, a benefit, not a religious benefit. Health insurance corporations are not religious in nature nor have they ever been. That you imply contraception is against the Catholic moral consciousness is in direct conflict with the actual facts. A Guttmacher Institute analysis in spring 2011 found that 99 percent of all American women who have had sex used contraception at some point in their lives, and for Catholic women the percentage is almost the same, 98 percent. Furthermore, no employer, religious in nature or not, should ever have the authority to decide what the health insurance corporations should or should not pay for. Whose side are you on? The health insurance corporations are already in the business of denying coverage in order to profit their stockholders. The very essence of their business, to insure a member will be covered under their benefit plan is an anomaly. I would also like to argue that the Catholic hierarchy is, in effect, asking the federal government to do what its own teachings cannot: remind Catholic women of the evils of birth control in hopes that they will stop using them altogether.

I leave you with a quote that inspires me by Lucretia Mott (1793-1880): "The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source."

Leslie Rubio
Montpelier

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