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Stay on contraception mandate is a good decision

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  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    @Badgerbadger -
    The mandate does not require employers to pay for contraception; it says contraception is a form of preventive care which should be covered like other preventive services by insurance plans. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, 28 states required health insurance plans to cover contraception and there was little outcry.

    Using contraception is not affordable if you don’t have insurance – many standard prescriptions start at $60 per month. Even with insurance, contraception can be expensive. Employers who cover contraception see significant savings. According to the Brookings Institution, every dollar spent on contraception saves 4.26. The Guttmacher Institute found that every dollar spent saves $3.74.

    Safe, reliable contraception has been a boon to women’s lives and ability to live as they see fit. The benefits accrue to women, their spouses and their children. Even though I believe the results are very positive, every change means letting go of what used to be.

    We’re talking about a product used by 99% of American women. Contraception has been entirely accepted and uncontroversial for decades. It’s good public policy that reflects lived realities.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    glendenbg
    What's happening is comparable to an employer saying, "My religion requires fasting all day, so I won't let my employees eat lunch."

    Not even close. No one is stopping you from buying birth control. It is more like, "My religion requires fasting all day, so I won't providing lunch. You will have to provide your own lunch."

    Wow, such an imposition, you have to buy your own lunch. That is certainly worth crying to nanny government about.

    Your employer pays you to work. Use the money and buy your own BC. It is not expensive. If you are adult enough to have sex, be adult enough to protect yourself. That is part of being a responsible adult.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:22 p.m.

    9 bucks a month to preserve first amendment rights is an absolute bargain.

    Remember this next time you are whining that your employer needs to pay for your birth control. You are free to say it, even though it is ludicrous, because of the first amendment.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:20 p.m.

    glendenbg
    "My religion requires fasting all day, so I won't let my employees eat lunch."

    NO, not even close. It is "my religion requires fasting all day so I won't be providing you with lunch. If you want lunch you will have to bring/get your own."

    It is such a whiny thing to say, "My employer needs to pay for my birth control." Be a responsible adult, get your own, and use it, please! Employers pay you money, and you are free as can be to use it how you want. No employer is stopping you from buying your own.

    Next thing you know, employers will have to pay your rent, buy your food, deliver it to your house, pay your utilities, etc etc. You will probably expect them to cook your meals and take the kids to daycare, pay for it, and bring them back home too.

    Seriously, anyone who is so irresponsible that they won't pay the 9 bucks a month for birth control, or won't go to planned parenthood to get it for free, is too irresponsible to be having sex.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    Tyler D must think that George Washington and John Adams were religious leaders. Both of them cautioned us about abandoning God and ignoring His divine doctrine when they recognized that it was He who guided them as they labored through the birthing process of this nation. What do you think they would say about a government that instructs establishments of religion to prevent children from being born? For that matter, what do you think George Washington and John Adams would say about government recognition of same-sex "marriage"?

    An "establishment of religion" is not a person's feelings about religion. It is an "establishment" that is recognized by the government. The Catholic Church is such an establishment. Government is absolutely forbidden to interfere with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

    Those who are so self-absorbed that they don't care what happens to society tell us that we should not be concerned because only 2% or 5% or 25% or 50% of Americans would ever do what they do. They tell us that humanity would survive their actions. How much arsenic is safe?

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    I get the whole idea that people don't want to be compelled to act against their religious beliefs. Think, for a minute what this would mean if instead of millions of evangelical Christians and catholics calling for exemption, it was millions of Jehovah's witnesses? They would all insist that the insurance they offered to their employees did not include blood transfusions. This is a fairly representational analogy, as both can have critical impacts upon a persons health. Exempting blood transfusions would be a preposterous notion. But not for Jehovah's witnesses!

    When it comes to the intersection of faith and employee health, faith must necessarily take a back seat. The editorial board of the Deseret News does everyone a disservice by legitimizing this type of argument. What is next? Science textbooks? Evolution?

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    @2 bits – Your counterexample is inaccurate. What's happening is comparable to an employer saying, "My religion requires fasting all day, so I won't let my employees eat lunch."

    When company insurance plans refuse to cover birth control, it places a unique burden on female employees. Lack of access to and affordability of birth control imposes both direct and indirect costs which serve to limit the ability of women to lead their lives as they see fit.

    Individuals, real flesh and blood women, will suffer if employers refuse to comply with the birth control mandate. The whole premise is to enhance the quality of the individual life. To quote author John McGowan:

    Freedom consists in having control over that life—and, crucially, in having the capacity to protect, to develop, to utilize, and to live that life as one sees fit. The individual can dispose of his life, but the emphasis is more on his ability to compose it. We have seen already that these core commitments to life and freedom slide from simply possessing life to having a good life.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    Mike Richards said: Not one word in the Constitution offers "special" rights because of the way people "feel" about themselves.

    Wrong again Mike... "Freedom of religion" is based entirely on "feelings" and they receive all kinds of breaks and special rights. Now people want to extend them even more Special Rights, based on their feelings.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    I wonder how this topic will be viewed if/when a Muslim employer decides to offer full health insurance to all his Muslim employees, but none at all to his "Infidel" employees.

    This would still be a religious freedom issue, would it not?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    It was logician Michael Oakshott who pointed out that if we extend any two rights sufficiently far, they will collide. Consider female circumcision. This amounts to genital mutilation but is a matter of religious observance many places. If such becomes more common in Utah, will the Deseret News defend the practice or protect girls and young women?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 10, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    Re:Abitofreality
    "I find it utterly bizarre that this issue receives so much attention. If Hobby Lobby covers contraceptives, some of their employees will take advantage of that benefit and use it, thus causing Hobby Lobby to end up paying for it."

    Uh, no.

    The insurance companies are required to cover the cost--not the employer.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    @Mike Richards – “President Benson said: "Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders."

    So you’re saying we need to look to our religious leaders to tell us what the Constitution meant?

    Because based on the wholly secular document itself, not to mention scores of writings by the “inspired” founders, it’s not at all clear to me these wise men saw the world the way you and Mr. Benson do… given the following:

    "The United States in is no sense founded upon the Christian religion." George Washington

    “Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretense of miracle or mystery.” John Adams

    "This could be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it." John Adams
    “When philosophic reason is clear and certain by intuition or necessary induction, no subsequent revelation supported by prophecies or miracles can supersede it.” John Adams

    My guess is these moral Deists would not be opposed to same-sex unions on constitutional grounds, President Benson’s feelings notwithstanding.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    'Not paying for it is not "restricting access". "Restricting access" would be saying you can't buy it, or preventing you from buying it.'

    And that is exactly what is happening.

    'I won't sell to you' is factually restricting access. Just because you say ' because of my religion' does not mean the person in question trying to buy contraception, has any factual access.

    They do not.

    If you have to redirect someone to another place, that is not access. That is still, restricting the free agency of the person.

    based on your, religious convictions.

    The asbsudity of 'religious conviction' as a means to deny access to anything is a sham.

    what if your religion, contradicts my own?

    Well then, you should go to 'another state' to live in? Correct?

    Then persons of the LDS faith should never leave Utah. Because well 'you have a place to worship' don't you?

    Do you see the absurdity of this claim?

    No. In America? The country we live in, we claim, to advocate free agency. The freedom to live your life, as you choose.

    That does not come with restrictions.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    RE "You cannot claim you are 'allowing' something, when you are factually restricting access"... (Pagan)

    ---

    Not paying for it is not "restricting access". "Restricting access" would be saying you can't buy it, or preventing you from buying it. Like putting it behind the counter or taking it off the market or something.

    Just not buying it FOR you... is not factually restricting access.

    By that logic, my boss not buying my lunch every day is restricting my access to lunch. And he is responsible for restricting my access to food and starving me to death if he doesn't buy my lunch.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    Given the fact that many believe that they can change "definitions" to mean whatever they want those "definitions" to mean, Ezra Taft Benson, in 1987 quoted D&C 101:80 "I established the Constitution of this land,” said the Lord, “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose”.

    He quoted George Washington: "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency” .

    President Benson said: "Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders."

    He quoted John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    Finally, he quoted 2 Nephi 1:7. I'm going to let you look that up. Knowledge requires effort.

    Government cannot dictate religious doctrine.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    'The Constitution explicitly protects establishments of religion. It does not protect "feelings".'

    Then what is religion?

    We have examples of LGBT in every aspect of human history. Predating any religion. Any and all attempts to change a persons orientation has a 0.2% likely hood of change.

    I have better odds in Vegas.

    2) What is religion, but a choice? You cannot prove religion, ergo the concept of 'faith'.

    So, who is legislating based on 'feelings' here?

    Also why is this topic about gay marriage, when the OP was about 'contraception'…?

    # 1 that is off topic.

    # 2 if you call birth control contraception than you admit, by omission, that birth control is not an 'abortion pill'.

    Bottom line, I pay for male-enhancing drugs with my taxes, paid into Medicare.

    Now, people want an exception for contraception due to the feelings of their religion?

    What about the right of a person to choose their own actions?

    You cannot claim you are 'allowing' something, when you are factually restricting access.

    You cannot be the victim and the oppressor, at the same time.

    If religion has no issue with male-enhancement, it should take no issue with women. But wait….

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    glendenbg,

    Re "effective freedom"

    You said, " Allowing a third party to influence such crucial decisions harms women's effective freedom"...

    By your logic... my boss not buying my lunch harms my "effective freedom" to have lunch.

    If you want contraception so bad... wouldn't you guy it regardless of whether you can get somebody else to pay for it or not?

    I mean I'm going to have lunch today... whether I can get my boss or somebody else to pay for it or not. Right?

    ===

    a bit of reality 9:41 expressed a good point though. Even if Hobby Lobby doesn't give you coverage to pay for contraception... they give you a paycheck you can use to get contraception. So in a way... my boss IS paying for my lunch today!

    I think I'll go to Sizzler today.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    @Mike Richards – “Let's review what the Constitution says about "gays", "homosexuals", and "same-sex marriage". That's right, it says nothing.”

    Glad we’re on the same page – your first comment seemed to imply that marriage was enshrined in our founding charter. Thank you for clarifying…

    So can we assume two things from your 2nd comment – First, that any state which currently allows same-sex marriage is free to do so?

    And second, that as views change any state in the future, including Utah, is also free to allow same-sex marriage?

    Given the fact that most people under 40 think being gay is about as interesting as being left-handed, it seems inevitable that gay marriage will one day soon by the law of the land – and that from a Constitutional standpoint (not really interested in your pseudo-moral religious objections) you are OK with that, yes?

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    @Mike Richards - Rather than framing these questions as minority/majority questions, think of them as questions of the ability of individuals to make decisions about their own lives.

    Effective, reliable birth control may be the most important improvement in women's health in history. 99% of American women use birth control. It can be prohibitively expensive for many women; if it's covered by insurance, it's easier for women to access it. Allowing employers to make it harder for women to access birth control makes it more difficult for women to make choices about their own lives. Allowing a third party to influence such crucial decisions harms women's effective freedom.

    Allowing same sex couples to marry is also an issue of allowing persons to make choices about their lives. Permitting same sex couples to marry in no way limits the ability of any one else to marry or to perceive that marriage as a holy sacrament. Denying same sex couples legal marriage makes it harder for those persons to lead lives of dignity - in fact, it is the government actively involving itself in citizens' lives in deleterious way.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    "Government regulations should never require Americans to go against their consciences where their faith is concerned."

    If this is a valid justification for Hobby Lobby not to pay for insurance coverage, it is also a valid justification for pacifists not to pay taxes that are used to fund the military-industrial complex.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    I find it utterly bizarre that this issue receives so much attention. If Hobby Lobby covers contraceptives, some of their employees will take advantage of that benefit and use it, thus causing Hobby Lobby to end up paying for it. Conversely, if they don't cover it, Hobby Lobby will still be giving their employees a paycheck, which some of the employees will use to pay for contraceptives. With our without the benefit, Hobby Lobby is indirectly funding contraceptives for its employees that want them.

    Why is it morally acceptable to fund this through a paycheck, while funding it through an insurance benefit is utterly egregious?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Hutterite,

    Re: "impose their beliefs on others"...

    They are not imposing their beliefs on anybody. You can still get contraception. It's just a question of who pays for it.

    Are you not going to get contraception if somebody else won't pay for it??

    If you want contraception... just go buy it! Nobody's stopping you!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    "why" in my last sentence should have been "where."

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    The Deseret News is particularly specious with this editorial. NO law should EVER interfere with religious liberty? Are you serious? Do you really mean this? So when the Laffertys' sincere religious conviction that they should cut their neighbors'throats is disallowed, is that an unacceptable infringement of their religious liberty? Deseret News' reasoning here is naive at best and disingenuous at worst.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    @Tyler D,

    Let's review what the Constitution says about "gays", "homosexuals", and "same-sex marriage". That's right, it says nothing.

    Let's review what the 14th Amendment says: ". . . nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." What is a "person"? Is it a "body" or is it a body's "feelings"? A doctor can be consulted if there is any question about your sex or you can look at your driver's license. Your driver's license does list the sex that you "feel" that you have, but the sex a doctor could validate.

    Let's review what the Supreme Court said when it struck down DOMA: "(a) By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States."

    Let's review how the State of Utah handled its responsibility to define "marriage": "Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect."

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    @Mike Richards – “If they want to marry someone, they are free to marry anyone whose "body" is not the same as their own, regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of national origin.”

    I always enjoy your lectures on the Constitution… I learn a lot (mostly about why our brilliant founders created such a vague document – i.e., so we the people could work out most of the details within the framework democratically).

    Anyway… you lost me on the quote above though. Tell me again why I find your stipulation (“whose "body" is not the same as their own”) in the Constitution?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    In the interest of preserving individual liberty, which does and must trump religious liberty (tyranny), employers should not have a say in the health care provided to their staff just because it doesn't meet their religious ideas.
    Cases like this are a good argument for single payer health care; it relieves employers of a huge burden, and also the opportunity to impose their beliefs on others.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    "Government regulations should never require Americans to go against their consciences where their faith is concerned."

    Really?

    Therefore:

    Christian Science parents should not be prosecuted when their children die from untreated illness and disease.

    Polygamy should become legal.

    Schools and places of employment should be required to provide space and time for Muslims to pray and Sharia law to become legal.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    "Government regulations should never require Americans to go against their consciences where their faith is concerned."

    Really?

    Therefore:

    Christian Science parents should not be prosecuted when their children die from untreated illness and disease.

    Polygamy should become legal.

    Schools and places of employment should be required to provide space and time for Muslims to pray and Sharia law to become legal.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    I think we should force ALL conservatives and all religious people to do whatever the liberals in our society want.

    ---

    I know that sounds silly... but it's what some on the left think (maybe not that directly).

    The thing is... it wasn't long ago (Reagan-Clinton era) when that the left was continually complaining about their conspiracy theories that the "religious right" was forcing THEIR version of "morality" on the left.

    But when the Left forces their morality on people... it just seems so much more acceptable to these people when they mandate (by law) that you accept their morality (no exceptions for your religious beliefs).

    ---

    I personally think the exception is a good thing. They aren't PREVENTING anybody from getting contraception. Nobody's preventing anything. You may have to pay for it. But many people think it's worth it and have doing this for a long time (paying for their own contraception).

    Some things we should just buy for ourselves if we want them (not force someone else to pay for it).

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    KJB1,

    "Gay people" have no special protection under the Constitution. Not one word in the Constitution offers "special" rights because of the way people "feel" about themselves. Gay people have the same rights as non-gay people. Their "feelings" are not protected by the 14th Amendment. They are classified as human beings with bodies. Their bodies are treated equally with every other "body" in America. If they want to marry someone, they are free to marry anyone whose "body" is not the same as their own, regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of national origin. They cannot argue that "feelings" must be accounted for unless they are willing demand equal pay for everyone who "feels" that the 14th Amendment guarantees him equal pay, equal hours, equal housing, equal education, equal trips to the golf course, and equal dining privileges as the President.

    The Constitution explicitly protects establishments of religion. It does not protect "feelings".

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    The law is very clear: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    That guarantee covers contraceptives. It covers transfusions. It covers anything and all things dictated by the Federal Government. The Federal Government cannot and must not make any law pertaining to an establishment of religion. Period.

    It's time that Americans dusted off their copies of the Constitution and started to stand for it instead of making excuses for unlawful and illegal government intrusion into our lives. We, the People, hold all rights. Only those rights that we have delegated to the Government can be abridged. Either we stand firm on that principle or we let "royalty" dictate to us what we will do. If that is the case, those who fought the Revolutionary War died in vain and all those who fought in every other war also died in vain. If we cannot stand firm for the founding principles, we don't deserve to be free. We deserve to become pawns to a "king" who will tell us what "rights" we have.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    Gay people may be a minority, but they still outnumber Mormons. Do you really want to go down that path, Mike?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    This is a highly misleading editorial. The group that filed the suit in this case is a religious group that already is exempt from the contraception mandate. All they have to do is fill out a form to get their exemption. They are claiming that forcing them to fill out this form violates their religious freedom.

    Can an employer who is a Jehova's Witness provide insurance to his employees that refuses to cover blood transfusions since that is against his religion?

    Can an employer who is a Christian Scientist provide insurance that refuses to cover standard medical care and only covers faith-based care?

    This is a more complex issue than this piece makes it seem.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    There are those who are demanding that we change the definition of "marriage" to include a definition given us by 2.5% of the population to include same-sex couples. That very small minority tells us that the needs of a minority must be accommodated by the majority; but, when the question is about birth control and another minority (those who actually believe in God and actually try to live his doctrine) demand that their religious doctrine be left undefiled by the Federal Government, the government tells us that they and they alone know what is "good and necessary" and that God cannot be cited as being relevant when it comes to Federal decrees.

    So which is it? Can a 2.5% minority rewrite the definition of "marriage" while all religious establishments are told that the 1st Amendment guarantee that the Congress will make no law pertaining to an establishment of religion is no longer valid because Obama has said so?