According to The Hill, a federal appeals court today
struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.I think it's important to, once again, make the necessary distinction between "birth control," which is an end, and "contraception," which is a means to obtain that end. Contraception is, according to the clear-cut teaching of the Catholic Church, an objectively immoral means of obtaining that end. There are moral means, namely the various methods of Natural Family Planning.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.
Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly
Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who authored the majority opinion, one rendered in the suit brought by Francis and Philip Gilardi, Catholic business-owners, whose company, Freshway Foods, is located in Ohio. Under the mandate, the Gilardi's would either need to violate their consciences or pay a $14 million fine. In her opinion, Judge Rogers Brown laid out the unconscionable dilemma the federal government placed these citizens in: "They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million, and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong."
Judge Rogers Brown, addressing the Obama Administration's contention that access to contraceptives, including abortifacients, is a woman's right, pointed out that "it is clear the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right — whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy — can extend to the compelled subsidization of a woman’s procreative practices."
Before proponents of this horrendously unjust governmental mandate, which, in addition to violating divine law, eviscerates a fundamental constitutional precept, get all up in arms, I am not imposing my views on anyone. I am merely resisting having someone else's views imposed on me by the coercive force of civil law. By asking to be exempted from this mandate, the Catholic Church is not seeking to "outlaw" contraceptives, despite holding the use of them to be gravely immoral, an aspect of this about which, in my view, the hierarchy continues to be far too reticent to teach forthrightly. My position, stated plainly, is, "If you want 'em, you buy 'em, just don't seek to coerce me into being in any way complicit in your choice."
Frank Weathers, who blogs at Why I am Catholic, has been following all of these developments quite closely for a long time, has more details: "Chalk Up A Victory Against The HHS Mandate."