The Catholic Bishops. The guys who don't want women to have any control over their reproductive destinies. Those guys. Here's what is happening now:
In August, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, announced new rules that included contraceptives for women in the package of preventive health care services that all insurers must cover without a deductible or co-payment beginning next year.It's not the White House who is considering caving in. It's president Obama.
The policy follows the recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. It will help drive down the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion by making birth control more accessible.
It was distressing but came as no surprise that the new rules prompted protests from Roman Catholic bishops and other church leaders. What is surprising, and even more distressing, is that the White House is considering caving to their call for an expansive exemption that would cover employees of hospitals, universities, charitable organizations and other entities that are associated with religious organizations but serve the general public and benefit from public money.
Let's go to that arid-but-firm Logic Land and consider all this there.
It makes no sense. Now, what would make logical sense is for the Bishops to demand that no woman who has put down her religion as Catholic should get free contraceptives, wherever she might happen to work. That would be logical. It might even wake up those women who don't make a fuss in their church about its misogynistic policies and politics.
But that is not what the Bishops demand. They demand that women who work for their organizations should not get free birth control, whatever their religion might say about that. And the reason is that these guys don't believe women should have the right to artificial contraception.
That oversteps their domain, however we might define it. Sure, tell your flocks that women's bodies belong to the church. Don't tell women not in your flocks that their bodies belong to your church.
Read Frances Kissling on this topic in general.