The Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage violates religious beliefs in several ways. In certain religions it is a moral sin to use or purchase contraceptives but the Affordable Care Act forces business owners to purchase contraceptives for their employees. It is also considered a sin to pay for, support, or have an abortion but again the Affordable Care Act forces business owners to cover the use and purchase of abortion pills in its contraceptive coverage policy. These are things that some business owners believe violate their religious rights and have led them to pursue court actions against the Affordable Care Act and the government to protect those religious rights. Why is this important for the media?
The Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement is an import topic for a media outlet to address for a few reasons. The first reason is religious beliefs. There are a number of religions that view contraceptives as a sin and being forced by the government to provide contraceptives to the employees of an organization or from business owner violates their religious and/or moral beliefs especially when it comes to providing the abortion pills. The other reason this is important is for the people who believe in women’s preventive health coverage who claim that they must have access to contraceptives for their health. There are also the people who believe that their own healthcare choices are not their boss’s business.
The authors from the articles that I have sourced do a really good job on referencing the history of the debate on the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement. They describe what it is and the history of the court’s decisions to include those of the Supreme Court. They address the need for the Supreme Court to make a decision based on the inconsistencies in the lower courts.
Most of the authors stuck to just reporting the facts however Cecile Richards of the Time suggests that corporations can’t have religious beliefs and shouldn’t have a say in how they spend their money on their healthcare. She even goes as far as saying that they have no right to choose what birth control they can choose to pay for. She states that 98% of Catholic women have used birth control but does not say where or how she obtained this number. Some business owners or cooperation’s may believe in birth control but not the abortion pills as abortion may violate their moral or religious beliefs. According to her though the company doesn’t have a choice which form they will pay for as her personal choices are more important than their religious beliefs. This is an opinion piece and not a real news story but I thought it was appropriate to include to give an insight on an individual’s thoughts. There are a number of opinion pieces that are passed off as real news stories these days so I felt it was important to include at least one.
Some of the authors have shown overall support for the religious beliefs. It would seem that the religious beliefs are a hindrance or excuse to deny payment for the birth control. Most of these didn’t come out and say it word for word you get the feeling that they wanted to.
The issues these stories focus on are women’s rights, the rights of the business, and religious rights.
The authors of the news articles seemed grounded in their knowledge of the topics and what is going on with the court cases. Cecile Richards seemed knowledgeable about the women’s health and rights aspects of her opinion piece however she did not seem knowledgeable or perhaps just didn’t care about the religious or business aspects of the story.
Most of the authors sided with the Supreme Court just giving the facts about the Supreme Court’s decision and how it affected the rulings of the lower courts. A few just stated that the Supreme Court’s ruling was preposterous and that religion or businesses had no right to interfere with a woman’s private life.
Religious issues don’t really seem to get prominence in the media unless they are controversial such as supposed discrimination against women (birth control, abortion), discrimination against homosexuals (Illinois law), violence (ISIS), or embarrassing.
Personally I have nothing against birth control but I don’t believe that business owners should have to give up or violate their religious beliefs just to run a business or employ people to help run that business. Like in the picture above women state to keep the bosses out of the bedrooms but by forcing them to buy your birth control aren’t you inviting them into your bedroom. I think that birth control is a private matter and should therefore be handled by a private insurance and not the businesses insurance if that business believes it violates their beliefs religious or not. It is easier for an employee to find another job or work of another business that will provide birth control coverage in their health insurance then it would be for a business owner to give up his business for religious or personal reasons. I think that if you own a business you should be allowed to run it anyway you like. If people don’t like it you go out of business you don’t need the government to tell you how to run your business and you don’t need your employees to tell you how you should run your business. Like I said before you should have to give up your religious beliefs just to run a business. You should be able to choose as a business owner whether you want to provide birth control with your health insurance or not especially since you are the one paying for the insurance. You should not be forced to buy or pay for abortion as a business owner or even as a tax payer. It seems to me that people just want these services for free and they don’t care if someone else has to violate their religious beliefs or their moral code. I am sure that it will all get worked out one way or the other. Hopefully without violating peoples religious beliefs.
Clark, Heather. “U.S. Supreme Court Justice Grants Groups Relief from Obamacare Abortion Pill Mandate.” Christian News. Christian News, 17 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://christiannews.net/2015/04/17/u-s-supreme-court-justice-grants-groups-relief-from-obamacare-abortion-pill-mandate/>.
DeSoto, Randy. “Obamacare Just Took A Big Shot From The Supreme Court.” Western Journalism. Western Journalism, 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.westernjournalism.com/for-sixth-time-in-a-row-supreme-court-sides-with-religious-groups-over-obamacare/>.
Hicap, Jonah. “Obamacare Contraception Ruling News 2015: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Lower Court Verdict Favoring Obamacare Ruling.” The Christian Times. The Christian Times, 1 May 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.christiantimes.com/article/obamacare.contraception.ruling.news.2015.u.s.supreme.court.rejects.lower.court.verdict.favoring.obamacare.contraception.ruling/52361.htm>.
Hurley, Lawrence. “U.S. top court throws out Obamacare contraception ruling.” Reuters. Will Dunham, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/27/us-usa-court-obamacare-idUSKBN0NI1I920150427>.
Reuters. A protester holds a sign opposing the Obama administration’s policy on contraception at the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington in this March 25, 2014 file photo. The Christian Times. The Christian Times, 1 May 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.christiantimes.com/article/obamacare.contraception.ruling.news.2015.u.s.supreme.court.rejects.lower.court.verdict.favoring.obamacare.contraception.ruling/52361.htm>.
Richards, Cecile. “The Only Controversy About Birth Control Is That We’re Still Fighting for It.” Time. Time, 1 July 2014. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://time.com/2945942/planned-parenthood-hobby-lobby/>.
Rodriguez, Vanessa Garcia. “Supreme Court directs appeals court to consider Hobby Lobby ruling in Obamacare case.” Christian Examiner. Christian Examiner, 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/religious.freedoms.protected.by.high.court/48844.htm>.
Somodevilla, Chip. “Supportes of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was announced June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.” Time. Time, 1 July 2014. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://time.com/2945942/planned-parenthood-hobby-lobby/>.
Surtees, Geoffrey. “The HHS Mandate Challenge: Where We Are and Where We Go From Here.” ACLJ. ACLJ, 1 May 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://aclj.org/obamacare/the-hhs-mandate-challenge-where-we-are-and-where-we-go-from-here>.
Unknown. “SCOTUS Tells Lower Court To Reconsider ACA Contraception Case.” CaliforniaHealthline. CaliforniaHealthline, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2015/4/28/scotus-tells-lower-court-to-reconsider-aca-contraception-case>.
Willoughby, Karen L. “Hobby Lobby but not Catholic church may ‘practice’ what it preaches.” Christian Examiner. Christian Examiner, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015. <http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/hobby.lobby.but.not.catholic.church.may.practice.what.it.preaches/48404.htm>.