Birth control policy an affront to religious freedom

The recent decision by the president to require certain faith-based employers to provide birth control, sterilization, and drugs to induce abortion is an affront to the religious liberty of not only Catholics, but people of all faiths.

The rights to certain aspects of health care shouldn't come at the expense of violating the conscience of another person or an institution. The subsequent "compromise" offered by the president was really more a change in his approach, since there was little discussion by the opposing parties. The fact that this change now requires insurance companies to provide "free of charge" birth control and other related procedures and products doesn't solve the problem. Some of these institutions are self-insured and we all know that nothing is "free of charge."

If this threat to religious liberty is allowed to stand, expect more challenges in the future. I encourage all persons of faith to fight this ruling by the president. Fight it with prayer and action. I would ask individuals to encourage their legislators to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act currently before the U.S. Congress. It was designed to address potential rights of conscience issues with Obamacare. This legislation is needed because we can no longer count on the government or our president to protect our First Amendment religious rights.

Rich Streit


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