About the birth control issue and the first amendment:
The government can't impose rules that violate a person's religious practices. Which is great! In the case of birth control and Catholics: "Take this birth control or lose your job," says a gov't official. That is against the first amendment. Much like a court can't force a JW to give his/her child a blood transfusion, even if it will save that child's life. That family has the right to be f-ing Wakkos and believe that God wants their kid to die.
Having companies owned by the Catholic church provide their employees with the option for BC isn't forcing Catholics to do anything against their religion, i.e.: taking BC. It's merely giving other people the ability to make that choice. Again, we have the same issue that we have talked about before: Religious institutions forcing their beliefs on people who don't share them (a person who works at a Catholic hospital but isn't Catholic). And before anyone makes the argument, taking BC isn't a religious belief so it isn't the other way around.
As to the medical benefits of BC outside of the obvious: reduced bleeding (when amount is abnormal), reduced menstrual pain for PMDD, decreased risk of all cancers women are susceptible to (except breast cancer -- research is mixed on BC's effects on breast cancer), and regulation of an abnormal period. I'm sure there are more.
Also, the only way that I would even remotely consider allowing a company to do something along these lines is if that company operated completely autonomously from any gov't assistance, aid, funding, intervention, or supervision. And NO hospital or school does, especially religiously operated ones. They get tax write-offs (gov't $$), they are monitored by the gov't (like all schools and hospitals are), they take gov't grants (to do good, positive research), etc. etc. etc. These things aren't bad, but it's completely absurd to say that they operate without any gov't hands touching them. And in my book, you can't argue out of both sides of your mouth. "The gov't isn't part of us and can't dictate our decisions." "Can we have a grant, gov't?"
Allowing people to choose or not to choose to use BC by providing that option along with any other insurance option (ER stays, other pharms, pregnancy coverage, etc.) is a great idea. Having a religious institution make that choice for its potentially non-believing employees is religions fascism. Because we don't like it, no one attached to us can have it either.
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