The other day I received a letter from the benefit plans office that handles my health care. They wanted me to be informed about how the Affordable Care Act would and would not impact my health care plan, especially in regards to the issues surrounding mandatory birth control coverage and so on. My reaction as I read through the letter went from bland curiosity to mild concern to outright frustration.
The letter explained that while the ACA requires that all employers make birth control – including abortion-causing methods such as IUDs, the “morning after pill” and so on – available to all female employees, because we are a religious organization we are exempt from that “mandate.” (For clarification, my health care is handled through my church, which participates in a group health care plan for church workers). However, it went on to explain that because the ACA still requires these options to be available, our health care plan does include those options, but that portion is subsidized by the federal government.
So, we object to these abortion-causing birth control methods and neither want them available nor want our money to go to them, and the federal government responds by saying, “We will make them available, and you will just pay for them out of your taxes instead.”
In other words, they don’t get it. The problem isn’t whether or not the money comes directly out of our pockets. The problem is that they exist at all, compounded by the fact that we are asked to pay for it one way or another.