Imagine you work for a large corporation, and it provide you with health insurance. Let’s also say that, like Facebook, the corporation has no board of directors and its CEO also holds a controlling interest in the company. Now imagine that the CEO one day became a Jehovah’s Witness. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions, so the CEO goes out and changes the company health insurance to a special JW plan that doesn’t provide coverage for transfusions. Now if you need a blood transfusion to save your life you’re going to have to pay out of pocket for it. I don’t know what that costs, probably a lot.
Absurd? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. Your employer is forcing you to live by his religious views. That’s fundamentally wrong and essentially discriminatory.

So why is coverage for birth control different? It’s not. Birth control has medical uses far beyond contraception, but even if it didn’t, it’s still basic preventative health care that saves a lot of money down the line. And employers shouldn’t come between patients and their doctors, even if the employer is associated with the Catholic Church. So as long as we’re mandating that plans cover certain items, birth control should be one of them, and all plans should cover it, even if that means that at some multi-layered distance, a Catholic is paying for something he doesn’t like. Because you wouldn’t let a Jehovah’s Witness get away with not covering a blood transfusion he didn’t like.

In the Cincinnati area Catholic affiliated hospitals and health care groups employ over 17,000 people. Now I don’t know the complexities of those groups, how strongly they are affiliated, and how many employees would be affected by Catholic hospitals being exempted from covering birth control, but it would absolutely be thousands of doctors, nurses, orderlies, technicians, cafeteria workers, and janitors of varying beliefs and needs. And most of the women in that group use some form of birth control. Not only that, the Catholic bishops want every employer who happens to be Catholic (or any other religion) exempted from covering birth control, not just Catholic hospitals and universities.

Requiring employers to cover birth control is not religious discrimination. Employers forcing their employees to pay for coverage based on some religious belief of the employer is discrimination. It is discrimination against employees with different beliefs and it is discrimination against women.

Now, if you can handle some NSFW language and a lot of righteously angry feminism, there’s a lot more about this topic starting here, and she’s dead on.

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