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  1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Sotomayor Blocks Contraceptive Mandate (Temporarily)

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Steerpike, Jan 1, 2014.

    The story is provided below. I'm not religious, and I favor the use of contraceptives and am also pro-choice. I think Sotomayor made the right call here, given the issues of Constitutional Law at stake. I also think that ultimately the government needs to provide exemptions for religious groups with a bona fide conflict on this issue. Anyone who cares about issues concerning our Constitutional rights should feel similarly. Freedom to exercise one's religion is a key right, enshrined in the First Amendment along with free speech and freedom of the press.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/12/31/health-law-catholic-contraception/4269917/
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This doesn't surprise me in the least. Good for her. A religious organization should not be made to participate in something that is against their beliefs. I am absolutely 100% pro choice, have no doubt there, but these are cards that are too important to go bandying them about insouciantly, one to trump the other.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    How far does that go though, Wrey? Should a Jehovah's Witness owner be able to leave blood transfusions out of their employees' medical insurance plan? Should an employer be able to tell employees that they cannot purchase birth control with their pay?

    Think of discrimination by landlords in who they rent to, employers in who they hire, and lunch counter owners with their seating restrictions. Society needs some lines in some places, so the question is where to draw those lines?

    What's the difference between the employer paying for the health insurance for the employee and giving the employee a paycheck to buy their own insurance? You have the employee's own choices at the behest of the employer when a cash payment of wages is so little different in essence.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think the line isn't too hard to draw. If you're dealing with an organization that is primarily religious in function, or traditionally closely-tied to the religious mission of the organization, they should get an exception. The easy case would be an actual church. A catholic church or Jehovah's Witness hall (or whatever they call them) should not have to provide for services contrary to their religion. A guy who is Jehovah's Witness and runs a chain of gas stations - well, you can at least argue that's a different situation since that's a primarily secular activity.

    As for the employee doing what she wants with her pay, that argument doesn't really make sense. Once the pay is given, ownership of those funds are legally the property of the employee. It doesn't make any sense at that point to say the employer can dictate anything, because they no longer have any legal interest in that money. The employees rights in those proceeds are 100% to the employer's 0%.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Churches are directly exempted. We are talking here about hospitals and social service agencies, employers of large numbers of people, many of them women. In this case it is a nursing home, and not only that, but a nursing home in a much larger organization. They claim to be an EOE. This affects the health care insurance of thousands of low income nurses aides. Nursing home pay for nurses aids is not very high.

    So there is an impact on the employees that to me is just as unjust as a Nun's perceived dilemma when they had an ethical out. That is the compromise beyond the church exclusion:

    I've been self employed for decades and I pay for my own health insurance. In the past when I had a paycheck, some of it was paid in wages, some in benefits like health insurance, in my mind, it was still essentially pay.
     
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