By Cosette Paneque
Aug. 8, 2011
Catholic hospitals are opposing a new provision in President Barrack Obama’s recent health care overhaul, which expands benefits for women including free birth control to their employees.
The Health and Human Services Department has proposed a conscience clause, but Michael Sheedy, a spokesperson for the Florida Catholic Conference, told the Florida Independent that the clause is too narrow.
The Washington Post explains, “The administration’s proposed exemption defines a religious employer as one whose purpose is to instill religious values, which primarily employs and serves people who share its religious tenets, and which is nonprofit.”
Catholic hospitals could be ineligible and thus required to offer services they find religiously objectionable. Sheedy says the decision “violates the conscience”.
There are about 600 Catholic health care institutions in the United States.
What do you think? Should Catholic hospitals be forced to provide health care they spiritually object to? Are conscience clauses a good compromise or are they used to deny people services as some reproductive justice groups assert?