A lot of religious schools have been freaking out over Obamacare because they’re now required to provide emergency contraception to their employees… and they think that amounts to promoting abortion… because they don’t actually know how birth control works.
For the most part, it’s been Catholic universities leading the charge. But evangelical Mecca Wheaton College (just outside Chicago) has also joined in:
In the early stages of the battle over the contraception mandate, coverage mostly focused on the protest from the Catholic Church, but a growing number of Protestant organizations have joined the fight. The Wheaton College alliance marks the first-ever partnership between Catholic and evangelical institutions to oppose the same regulation in the same court.
“This mandate is not just a Catholic issue — it threatens people of all faiths,” says Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the college in its suit. “Wheaton’s historic decision to join the fight alongside a Catholic institution shows the broad consensus that the mandate endangers everyone’s religious liberty.”
According to the school’s community covenant, Wheaton’s religious convictions prevent it from providing its employees with access to abortifacient drugs. Through this lawsuit, the college contends it acts to preserve its religious liberty and the right to carry out its mission free from government coercion.
Team Obama has offered these schools a one-year pass on the contraception mandate while they figure out some sort of solution. So if your school didn’t offer employees such coverage in the past, you can continue not providing them with comprehensive health care for another year.
Here’s where things get hilarious.
As it turns out, Wheaton’s old health care plan already covered emergency contraception. So they’ve been frantically trying to get rid of it so they can pretend to be angry about it:
“In order to be eligible for the safe harbor, the institution has to certify that it has not covered contraceptives after February 10, 2012,” said Emily Hardman, communications director for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Wheaton didn’t qualify because “for a short time after February 10, Wheaton’s policies inadvertently covered emergency contraceptives. Wheaton was in the process of fixing that error in February, but it was not fixed before the cutoff date.“
No word on how long Wheaton offered employees emergency contraception before the “mistake.” But I don’t remember anyone at the school freaking out before last month. It’s almost as if the coverage wasn’t a big deal until it became part of Obamacare…
But, you know, they’re gonna sue the Obama administration, anyway. Because… um… RAWR! FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE!
I can’t wait for Wheaton College to sue itself next.
Rachel Maddow covered this beautifully the other day:
It’s amazing how much fake outrage these religious schools can drum up when it comes to denying women healthcare. The only thing they seem to get more pumped up about is eating chicken just to stick it to the LGBT crowd.
Jesus must be rolling in his grave. Or something like that.
(Thanks to Julie for the link)