Supporters of President Obama’s so-called “contraceptive mandate” would like you to believe that it’s an issue of women’s reproductive rights. However, this is not an issue of ensuring women can access appropriate health care; this is an issue of our right to conscience. Women currently enjoy ready access to contraceptives without government mandating religious organizations also provide them to employees. Due to Title X and other government subsidies, there are over 4,500 family planning clinics and 8,000 community health center delivery sites nationwide – a majority of which provide contraceptives. Seventy-five percent of all U.S. counties have at least one clinic that provides contraceptives.
What the government does not have the authority to mandate is that both men and women abdicate their First Amendment rights – the government should enact no law restricting the free exercise of religion. Those opposed to the “contraceptive mandate” are not trying to shove their own viewpoints down anyone else’s throats. They are not saying that contraceptives should never be used. They are simply trying to protect their right to exercise what they believe – to have the choice as to whether or not they finance something to which they have religious and/or moral objections.
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