Senator McCaskill on the DHHS Mandate

This afternoon Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) told Mark Reardon of KMOX radio that she definitely supports the Department of Health and Human Services birth control mandate for religious institutions.  She made the bizarre statement that free birth control for all women is the leading method to reduce the number of abortions in the United States.  There are two things wrong with her thinking.  One is that included in the mandate are abortifacient drugs like the so-called morning-after pill.  The second is that the wide availability of artificial birth control is a major contributor to the promiscuity of today’s society and that no method is 100% foolproof.  Pills and condoms do fail.  In fact, research shows that pills fail to prevent pregnancy 2-9% of the time.  Condoms are ineffective 15-24% of the time.

So, given a (possibly false) sense of security, extra-marital sex runs rampant and the total number of unwanted (or inconvenient) pregnancies skyrockets.  Saying that forcing religious employers to provide free birth control will reduce abortions is nonsense.  Here’s the thing.  Our Constitution provides us with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Free artificial birth control and sterilization are not included.

On the other hand, our Constitution does protect our religious freedom.  The DHHS mandate is a direct assault on our religious rights.  And make no mistake, if this mandate is allowed to stand, it’s only the beginning.  No matter what your religious faith, you cannot sit idly by and let this happen.  Whether you’re Jewish, Muslim, or a member of any of the Protestant communities, this health care mandate affects you and your freedom to practice your faith.

Now a word just to Catholics.  Ms. McCaskill said today on KMOX that the Catholic Church has no idea how many of its members use artificial birth control.  She’s wrong.  Of course the Church knows.  They have access to the same survey information as everyone els.  But it’s not the Church’s place to monitor what goes on in each Catholic’s bedroom.  That’s between the individual and God.  All the Church can do is point out what’s a sin and what isn’t.  You have free will to make a choice.  You don’t have to answer to the Pope, or your local Bishop, or your priest or deacon.  You will have to answer to Jesus.

The Church does recommend and teach Natural Family Planning.  NFP has proven to be 90-98% effective, roughly the same effectiveness as the pill and much more effective than diaphragms and condoms.  NFP has no side effects.  The same can’t be said for the pill.

Wait!  NFP does have a side effect.  Couples who practice it have a divorce rate of less than 1%.  Why?  Because NFP couples have to talk to each other!  Sexual activity has to be planned and sometimes it has to be postponed.  That shared commitment makes marriages stronger.

One more thing:  Groups that oppose the Catholic Church’s position on this subject, like McCaskill, love to point out the statistics on artificial birth control among Catholic women.  Catholic women, and all women who favor so-called reproductive rights, like to point out that these are personal decisions that don’t affect anyone else.  Well, before you take that pill or put on that condom, think of this.  Those who oppose the Church are using your failure to follow Church teaching to prop up their arguments.   Your “personal decision” to ignore Church teaching and God’s plan effects the entire Church.

Think about it.

External Links

Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body

7 Common Birth Control Side Effects

Sex and Fertility

Phyicians for Life

Natural Family Planning

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One Response

  1. NFP is an extremely effective way to plan a family. Unfortunately too many people want an easy fix. Just pop a pill and you can have sex any time you want. It’s just too hard to abstain a few days each month.

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