Professional Catholics - and opportunistic Republicans - are making a fuss about the recent decision that health care plans offered by religious institutions are required to cover contraception. Let me tell you a story about that. My father-in-law works at a Catholic university. He, and my wife, are Jewish. The health insurance they received from the University did not cover contraception when used to prevent pregnancy. They did cover ortho-tricyclen when prescribed by a dermatologist for skin reasons, and this was how my wife was getting it. However, they would only cover it if the insured first submitted to a panel of priests who would certify that it was being used for dermatological purposes rather than, y’know, fun. My father-in-law, being unwilling to discuss his daughter’s potential sex life with a panel of Catholics priests, paid out-of-pocket.

That’s why this complaining is ludicrous. My grasp of Catholic doctrine may be shaky, but as far as I know Catholics are only forbidden from using contraception themselves, not from paying for people from other religions (or even their same religion!) to use it. Contraception is legal, jerks. If it’s a sin, then have faith in believers to make that decision on their own. And leave the rest of us out of it.

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