The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody
Posted on May 31, 2016 by Betty Clermont
“Zika Does Not Justify Abortion or Contraception” declared the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Three powerful cardinals – from New York, Washington DC and Boston – plus five archbishops – including those of Los Angeles and Philadelphia – are among the board of directors.
“Republicans’ fears about the use of taxpayer money for abortion and possible increased use of contraception” are “lurking beneath the surface” of their opposition to legislation to fight the Zika virus.
Because the virus can cause severe birth defects in babies of infected mothers, Republicans have had concerns that taxpayer funds might somehow be used to help provide abortions.
As a precaution, Senate Republicans insisted on writing language into their measure on Zika financing that reiterated the Hyde Amendment – a provision named for the longtime Illinois congressman Henry Hyde that bans the use of government money for abortions…
There has also been debate about whether the government should stress contraception or abstinence in public education campaigns about how the Zika virus can be transmitted even more readily by sexual intercourse than by mosquitoes.
The Senate measure includes money for community health programs that might stress the effectiveness and importance of contraception.
By making contraception their bludgeon against Obamacare and the foundation of their “religious freedom” campaigns, the US bishops have boxed themselves into a corner. “Even though the Zika virus can be transmitted even more readily by sexual intercourse than by mosquitoes,” the bishops have no choice but to use their considerable political muscle to make sure no government funding provides for any program “stressing the effectiveness and importance of contraception.”
The administration and Democrats in Congress know that, at enormous taxpayer expense, as of October 2015 over 100 lawsuits had been filed in federal courts challenging the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. The vast majority were brought by Catholic bishops and their affiliated institutions.
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