The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in the case of Zubik v. Burwell — another ridiculous challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
As it stands, if you run a religious non-profit (say, a hospital), you can get out of providing birth control for your employees if you fill out a form saying it violates the tenets of your faith. That’s still not good enough for some religious groups, though, who think filling out that form is also a violation of their faith because it means they’re inadvertently telling their employees they can obtain birth control through the government.
If that’s sounds like an absurd objection… that’s because it is. No accommodation will ever satisfy these people. They oppose birth control in all forms for everyone, and they’ll fight against it even if their own connection to the pills is razor thin.
In a compelling piece for the Washington Post, teacher Sonia Guizar writes about how she used to be a devout Catholic who shunned any form of birth control. But after having her first child, she knew she couldn’t afford another one. She needed contraception. Without coverage from her Catholic workplace, though, that was out of the question.
She soon became pregnant with her second child. (So much for “natural family planning.”)
Guizar says the Church’s opposition to sensible family planning is pushing her away from the faith — no kidding — and today’s Supreme Court case just confirms her feelings:
The extreme measures the church is taking to block women’s access to common health care — including the 98 percent of Catholic women of reproductive age who have used a method of contraception other than natural family planning — is turning me away from the Catholic Church. I no longer celebrate Mass. They are out of touch with the people they claim to represent, and this time they’ve gone too far. I hope the Supreme Court recognizes that and protects my right to access the care that we’re promised under the law.
Well, they went “too far” a hell of a long time ago, but good for her for finally realizing it.
Critics of the Catholic Church have been saying all this for many years. The Church’s policies aren’t just untenable; they’re downright harmful. Even if Catholics are against abortion, the faith’s rules against contraception make no realistic sense, and it’s about damn time people inside the Church recognize that.
Maybe the silver lining to Catholicism’s decades-long crusade against women who want access to safe, affordable birth control is that lots of them will finally leave the Church for good.
Side note: The American Humanist Association has filed an amicus brief in this case defending the government’s position. If you have questions about the case, AHA attorney Monica Miller will be doing a Q&A on Twitter at 1:00p (ET) today. You can follow along and participate at @americnhumanist.
(Image via @seculardotorg)