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The New Ruling on Contraception

By Colleen Dye

10.7 million women in the United States take the birth control pill daily. Recently, President Obama has caused some controversy over his new birth control ruling. Previous to February 10th, President Obama’s ruling on birth control was that all institutions–even religious affliated ones–must provide employees with the option of free birth control. Many religious affliated companies and colleges spoke out against Obama’s new law. The U.S. Catholic Bishops are outraged over the new ruling as well.

Therefore, in order to stray away from bad press, President Obama agreed to a compromise to his new law. According to a Baltimore Sun article, President Obama rewrote the bill saying that birth control will still be provided for employees, except none of the funding will come out of the religious institutions’ budget. Instead, all the funding for the option of having free birth control will go directly through private insurance.

A New York Times article ,that was posted before the compromise, points out that ninety-eight percent of Catholic women have used and are currently using artificial contraception. According to that same New York Times article, a law student at Fordham University was denied the birth control pill because of the University’s Catholic affiliations.

Previous to the President’s compromise, I went to the streets and asked ten people the following question, “Under President Obama’s new law the option of having free birth control will be open to everyone. This new law will take affect on August 1st of this year.  According to a New York Times article, a Fordham University law student was denied the pill because of the University’s Catholic Affiliations. Is it ethical for Catholic Universities to deny young women the pill?”

The results were that many people agreed it was unethical for Catholic University’s to deny young women the birth control pill.

However, one thought that because the institution was a private university, the university has the right to deny their students the birth control pill.

“I mean it [Fordham University] is a religious institution.  It [Fordham University] is   a private college they may be a public firm, but I don’t think there is a problem with that,” said David Green, Kansas City, MO.

Others did not feel as strongly about the new law. The topic is not all black and white because it is so controversial.

“Falls in a strong grey area. A religious institution should be able to enforce their own rules and standards but at the same time it shouldn’t infringe on people’s personal views,” said Kara Schweitzer, Idaho.

In the end, the majority of people interviewed felt strongly that it was unethical to deny young women the pill.

Most of the people that I asked all agreed that it was not ethical to deny women the birth control pill because of a University’s Catholic affiliations. It is important to point out that all of these responses came from women.

“Absolutely not. I don’t think that it is ethical just because as an American citizen we have the rights to make decisions as ourselves. When we attend a school we still have those rights. I understand these schools are Jesuit Catholic in their values system, but at the end of the day there is separation between church and state,” said Anne Stevens from Saint Louis, MO.

People emphasized the fact that the United States is a country founded on personal freedoms.

“No I don’t think its ethical, because if we live in a country that is freedom of choice it is their freedom the school does not have a lot of say in their personal life,” said Mira Patel, Chicago, IL.

Others spoke out about their religious beliefs and how those are being affected by the new bill.

“ A person’s affiliation with their school has nothing to do with their affiliation of their church and beliefs.  The school does not have the power to control someone’s decisions in their personal life. I am attending a private Jesuit school and I am not of any faith. I would be very offended if this school tried to deny me something because of religious beliefs,” said Lauren Balzarini, Akron, OH.

Lindsay Kurdi, a volunteer at Planned Parenthood, had this to say about the new bill, “No I do not believe that it is ethical because not every student that goes to a Catholic University is going to be Catholic. I go to a Catholic University and I’m not Catholic and I know a lot of people are the same way and I know I should not be denied it [birth control] because of my school’s belief.”

photo by: Jerry Mosey- Associated Press

  • written by cdye1 on March 8th, 2012
  • posted in Edit

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