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The Sebelius Contraception Edict: What you need to know

2 Feb

Kathleen Sebelius, director of Health and Human Resources

My friends and I used to have a joke whenever a celebrity died. We’d say, with some degree of incredulity, “So and So is dead? I didn’t even know he was sick!” I feel that way sometimes when a big news story breaks on a subject I wasn’t following and all the newsmen report like you already know what’s going on. It’s like listening in on two friends debating without knowing what started it.

Lots of bishops including our own Archbishop Naumann are starting a debate by  speaking out against the  Health and Human Services (“HHS”) contraception mandate and the threat it imposes upon our religious liberties as Americans to follow our conscience.  However, probably many Catholics in the pews are just now entering into the conversation and wondering what’s going on. So here’s the low down:

When Congress passed and President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, what is commonly called Obamacare, it mandated that all health insurance providers cover “preventative services.” Most Americans were thinking of things like yearly physicals. However, the law did not spell out exactly what kind of services are preventative and left that to be determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Last year, former Kansas Governor and self-identified Catholic, Kathleen Sebelius, as the HHS secretary announced her decision to declare contraception as a preventative service and furthermore that providers must cover 100% of the cost. These contraceptive services include sterilization and drugs that can induce abortion. This “contraception edict” was the fulfillment of a feminist objective to provide free contraception to everyone. Thus very soon the federal government will require all employers pay for their employees’ contraceptives. Secretary Sebelius has declared that this ruling will go into effect in 2013, conveniently after the presidential election.

Now here’s the problem: Continue reading