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Should religious institutions pay for their employee's contraception policies?

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Uccisore

Senior Member

02-22-2012

Quote:
Shambolaz:
Provision for the general welfare is the second, which justifies funding for contraception. You'd have to espouse an extremely narrow reading of the Constitution to disagree.


It is illegal for the Federal Government to use public funding for abortions. So you tell me how the general welfare clause allows for funding contraception if it doesn't allow for that.

Obviously, when the proposed funding in question violates the religious beliefs of the people paying the taxes, the general welfare thing can take a backseat. This is probably because 'general welfare' is so ****ing vague that you could literally use it to justify funding ANYTHING up to and including genocide if you didn't temper it with other considerations, such as the first amendment. Taxation to fund the military is comparatively specific, and people protesting what the military is used for is already expressed through the voting process.


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Shambolaz

Member

02-22-2012

Quote:
It is illegal for the Federal Government to use public funding for abortions. So you tell me how the general welfare clause allows for funding contraception if it doesn't allow for that.


The general welfare clause does allow for that. It would be perfectly constitutional for Congress to fund abortion. Obviously, however, Congress has not passed laws that do such. There is a difference between what the government can legally do (in theory) and what it decides to do in actuality (i.e., for political reasons).

That said, I think all this legalese has distracted us from the primary subject at hand. Do we want to live in a society where some workers are denied basic coverage like contraception simply because of the beliefs of their employers?


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Uccisore

Senior Member

02-22-2012

Quote:
Shambolaz:
The general welfare clause does allow for that. It would be perfectly constitutional for Congress to fund abortion. Obviously, however, Congress has not passed laws that do such.


NOoooooo. Congress has passed laws. They passed laws OUTLAWING it. . They have not merely 'not gotten around to it yet'. They considered it, and decided that doing such a thing should be ILLEGAL.. It is illegal to use public money to pay for abortions. You will be fined, or go to jail, if you do so. This is largely because of people's religious beliefs. The people who passed this law are aware of the general welfare clause.


Quote:

That said, I think all this legalese has distracted us from the primary subject at hand. Do we want to live in a society where some workers are denied basic coverage like contraception simply because of the beliefs of their employers?


You understand that if you phrase things vaguely enough, you can make anything you don't agree with sound like the ****ing end of the world, right? Nobody is going to be 'denied' contraception...they simply have to pay for it themselves, like they pay for their rent themselves, or their groceries themselves, or their gas themselves. OH THE HUMANITY. Keep in mind, these are people that by definition have a full-time job with insurance benefits; they are not 'the poor', so don't even go there. Also keep in mind that the reason they are in the awful, awful, predicament of having to pay for their own prescription for birth control pills (the horror!) is because they chose to work for a religious institution that forbids their use.

That's why the, er, legalese is important. You seem to be assuming that if you just phrase it right, every decent human being will just agree with you. No, we won't. I used to think that way too, and then I went to college and found plenty of reasonable, decent human beings that believe insane, horrible things that would completely destroy this nation if their ideas became policy- probably what you think of me. Regardless, the law, the Constitution, is what keeps us from tearing each other apart.


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Shambolaz

Member

02-22-2012

Quote:
Congress HAS passed laws OUTLAWING it. They have not merely 'not gotten around to it yet'. They considered it, and decided that doing such a thing should be ILLEGAL.


Really? I am unaware of any law currently on the books that explicitly bars Congress from passing legislation to fund abortion, generally speaking. Granted, I know many laws contain language excluding abortion in the instance. I was curious so I googled it and found this: http://www.factcheck.org/2010/07/taxpayer-funded-abortions-in-high-risk-pools/
This piece explains that the health care law allows for federally subsidized abortions in case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother. Of course, this is not the same as "abortion on demand" or whatever, but it is still abortion.

Even if Congress has passed a law limiting its power to pass laws funding abortion, what of it? That is a (comparitevly minor) legal impediment, not a question of constitutionality. Congress has as much power to restrict as to exercise its own power (Congress has been consistently ceding its power to the Executive branch recently, for example).

Quote:
You understand that if you phrase things vaguely enough, you can make anything you don't agree with sound like the ****ing end of the world, right? Nobody is going to be 'denied' contraception...they simply have to pay for it themselves, like they pay for their rent themselves, or their groceries themselves, or their gas themselves.


Hyperbole aside, this is not a valid comparison. The health care system in America is, to a significant extent, predicated on the employer/employee relationship. If my employer refuses to provide X as part of my coverage, I am boned. However, I do not rely one bit on my employer when filling up at the gas station (except in the most obvious sense of paying with money earned on the job). This is all an unfortunate artifact of the privatized nature of American health coverage.


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Elan Tedronai

Senior Member

02-23-2012

Quote:
Powerstoned:
O, I caught what you said. You think churches should pay for BC, but yet defend their to not pay for it, and state that an issue regarding women's birth control, is not a woman's issue for some reason. Anyone can choose to support or not support any issue they want, that's fine. As an employer, you don't get to force your support or decisions on your employees, especially in a discriminating way. So many people posting here think employers are being charitable by giving people jobs, and everyone should be simply grateful and shut up, regardless of working conditions, discrimination or pay.

So why do you think churches should have to pay for BC? So there isn't controversy? You've taken discrimination and basic human rights off the table, so what could it be?

I don't think churches should pay for BC explicitly, I just think they shouldn't make an issue of it. If the health coverage covers BC then so be it, if not, fine. Either way. Just like every other business. There's no scriptural support for a ban on BC. It's a Catholic (maybe? not real sure) man made tradition.

Yes, it is a woman's issue but it's not a woman's rights issue. If you read back a few pages into my posts you'll see where I explain that health coverage is not a right it is an incentive for work. These institutions are providing what is essentially a gift in the sense that it's not required. So this law would, in effect, be saying, "If you choose to give someone $99 voluntarily then you're required to give them $100." These institutions are not prohibiting (other than through a voluntary religious belief system) women from getting BC. Their rights are not infringed in any way. What about all those employers who don't offer health insurance at all? According to you those employers are infringing on women's rights.
Quote:
Powerstoned:
So again no answer, really Elan?

Are you... stoned? (See what I did there?) I didn't write that post you quoted.


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Uccisore

Senior Member

02-23-2012

Quote:
Shambolaz:
Really? I am unaware of any law currently on the books that explicitly bars Congress from passing legislation to fund abortion, generally speaking.


Errr...what? Why would Congress pass a law saying what Congress is allowed to pass laws about? They passed a law saying public money can't fund abortions- sure, there's the usual exceptions that abortion restrictions always have, but the point is, they decided people religious objections to the practice were more important than an appeal to 'the general welfare', just like they should in the Catholic/insurance thing if it comes down to a Supreme Court decision.

Quote:

Hyperbole aside, this is not a valid comparison. The health care system in America is, to a significant extent, predicated on the employer/employee relationship. If my employer refuses to provide X as part of my coverage, I am boned.


Um, not if X is cheap enough that you can easily afford to buy it yourself. What are you talking about?

Quote:

However, I do not rely one bit on my employer when filling up at the gas station (except in the most obvious sense of paying with money earned on the job).


I see. So if something costs X dollars and you can easily afford to buy it yourself, then you will and that's fine. But if something else costs X dollars and you can easily afford to buy it yourself, but that something could be described as a 'health care cost', then you're 'boned' for some reason.

Yeah, yeah, that makes total sense. If my insurance plan doesn't cover condoms, I guess I can't have any!