The Real Threat to Reproductive Health

As the congressional battle lines over health care are drawn yet again, Republicans have been awkwardly coming to grips with the second half of their “repeal and replace” mantra.  Especially to the most right-liberal wing of the GOP, any replacement of Obamacare will look too much like it, simply by being a health care bill.  This [Read More…]

Motherhood and Hard Cases

This Sunday (Mothers’ Day, coincidentally or not), a shocking juxtaposition appeared in my facebook feed, of the kind that somehow compels some response, even as I wonder how I can have the audacity to say anything at all.  I suppose it’s because violence always deeply disturbs me, despite, or maybe because of, being so often [Read More…]

Health Care and Language Access

That yesterday, November 15, marked the start of the open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace is a well-known fact at my current place of work, which may be about the only place in America where terms like “health insurance marketplace” or even “Obamacare” have little or no political connotations.  They may elicit groans, [Read More…]

Final HHS Rules on Birth Control

(Updated 6/28/2013, 2:45 EDT) Health and Human Services today released the new rules on the birth control mandate under the Affordable Care Act.  A good summary was provided by the New York Times: Under the rule issued on Friday, the government said that certain “religious employers” — primarily houses of worship — may exclude contraceptive [Read More…]

Conflicting Rights: A Muslim/Canadian Perspective

A minor story out of Canada, reported by the Religious News Service, may provide a new perspective for reflecting on Church/State clashes, and in particular the HHS contraception mandate.  Here are the basic details: In June, Faith McGregor requested a man’s haircut at the Terminal Barber Shop in downtown Toronto. Co-owner Omar Mahrouk told her [Read More…]

When abortion falls

Some things are clear. The number of abortions is related to the law, but it is also related to underlying socio-economic conditions – poverty,  economic opportunity, social cohesion, the adequacy of healthcare. While abortion rates in the United States have been trending downwards since the 1970s, the steepest rate of decrease took place during the Clinton [Read More…]

Some Things I Will Never Understand

Yesterday was a happy day. It was the day that the Affordable Care Act was found to be constitutional. It means that 33 million people who are currently left out in the cold will receive insurance. It means countless more millions will not suffer and face financial ruin simply because they have the misfortune of falling sick [Read More…]

Open Forum on the ACA Decision

SCOTUS has ruled, and Chief Justice (and conservative Catholic) John Roberts single-handedly saved the Affordable Care Act. The Court’s right wing, joined in the minority by Justice Anthony Kennedy, would have overturned the entire Act. But Roberts joined with the liberal wing to rule that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, but [Read More…]