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Stand on the Side of Love with the Nuns for Birth Control

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Mar 05, 2014

A few weeks ago, Donna Quinn of the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN) asked me to help spread the word that their coalition of more than 2000 Roman Catholic sisters had endorsed the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that birth control be included as a basic health care service for women. Because of their faith, the NCAN wrote that they believe “that women should not be singled out by any organization or group through its refusal to insure a woman’s reproductive needs.”

The nuns are speaking out just as those on the right want us to believe that birth control use is immoral. On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing two cases where company owners who don’t personally support contraception are denying their employees insurance coverage for birth control as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The lawyers for these private corporations go so far as to call birth control use sinful and immoral. To make it worse, the owners are claiming that including contraceptives in health care violates their company’s religious freedom.

Sister Donna and the nuns at NCAN know differently, and they’re bravely standing up to their hierarchy. But they need us as Unitarian Universalists to stand with them — to say that as people of faith we support universal access to contraception. Sign the petition here and then help gather more support by sharing via social media.

Unitarian Universalists have a longstanding commitment to women’s moral agency and reproductive justice. We believe women should be able to make personal decisions about their families, their bodies, their sexuality, and their health. It is precisely because life is sacred that we support the intentional and moral use of contraception.

We know that religious freedom means that each person has the right to exercise their own religious beliefs; religious freedom cannot mean that an individual or a corporation gets to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. We know that millions of people of faith agree with Donna Quinn and the nuns of NCAN that “We support women as moral agents able to make the right choices for their own bodies.”

Please join the Religious Institute and the nuns to stand on the side of love for women, birth control, and real religious freedom. Sign the petition here.

If you can come to Washington, DC on March 25, join us at the Supreme Court for a faith rally to demonstrate that people of faith support birth control and true religious liberty. I would love to see a sea of yellow Standing on the Side of Love shirts and hats at the Court that morning. RSVP here for details.

In faith,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev. Debra W. Haffner

President, Religious Institute

The Religious Institute is a multifaith nonprofit organization that advocates for sexual health, education, and justice in America’s faith communities, cofounded and directed by Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Debra W. Haffner.  To find out more and join its mailing list, go to www.religiousinstitute.org  or like us on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Stand on the Side of Love with the Nuns for Birth Control”

  1. Sheila Handrigan says:

    Hello there…I so wish that I could respond to your petition, but I am Canadian, and have enjoyed the freedom that a country as large as the US still has to fight for. I am totally amazed at this. If I were American I would be joining you in Washington as well.

  2. Robyn says:

    It’s certainly within a person’s religious freedom to take birth control or not. However forcing a person or organization to provide & fund something that blatantly violates their religious beliefs is a violation of religious rights! If those women work for an employer who is religiously opposed to birth control she will just have to buy her own! What if it were abortion? We may not be able to stop women from murdering their children, but you can’t force us to hire the hit man & pay the murderer to do the job! That she’ll have to do for herself! Nobody is trying to violate a woman’s right to her contraception! She is free to do as she believes! But to force her employer to partake in what he believes is an affront to almighty God, is the anti thesis of religious freedom! You should be ashamed of themselves for trying to force your religious views down the throats of the whole country & having the audacity to call it “real religious freedom!” It makes me sick! You having freedom does not mean you get to force those who disagree with you to partake of your sins & then force them to be silent because their freedom of speech & religion is interfering with your narrow world view! We have freedom of religion for the specific purpose of preventing people like you from forcing your beliefs on everyone else, & destroying our freedom to use our resources on that which we believe in! This manipulation of American and Christian principals is discussing! I can only pray that God will clear your vision before the devil takes you!

  3. Joe says:

    “However forcing a person or organization to provide & fund something that blatantly violates their religious beliefs is a violation of religious rights!”

    Minimum wage laws are illegitimate as applied to employers who find them immoral?

    “If those women work for an employer who is religiously opposed to birth control she will just have to buy her own!”

    By using the salary the employer pays?

    “What if it were abortion?”

    Yes, salary can often be used for that too — Hobby Lobby, e.g., is not firing employees who use money they supply for abortions.

    Or, health insurance when it, e.g., is necessary to protect health.

    “We may not be able to stop women from murdering their children, but you can’t force us to hire the hit man & pay the murderer to do the job!”

    The average person does not think it is “murder” of “children” or they wouldn’t allow, e.g., those who were raped to have an abortion early in pregnancy, since rape victims do not have the power to murder children either. Thus, they think it okay to not allow the average employer (as compared a church employer, perhaps) to fire people who use their salary, “paid” by the employer, for such abortions.

    “That she’ll have to do for herself!”

    As she is here, since she is using her own labor and part of that labor is compensation that includes insurance benefits.

    “Nobody is trying to violate a woman’s right to her contraception! She is free to do as she believes!”

    She needs money and insurance to do such things. Insurance allows people to contribute a bit and it covers each, who choose individually pursuant to their needs and moral beliefs how to use the benefits.

    “But to force her employer to partake in what he believes is an affront to almighty God, is the anti thesis of religious freedom!”

    They are not “partaking” in any major way — they are not doing it, promoting it or being directly involved. They need not even provide insurance — they can choose to not have insurance for the employees and pay a tax, which in the long run is often cheaper for them.

    “You should be ashamed of themselves for trying to force your religious views down the throats of the whole country.”

    This isn’t being done. Actually, providing insurance EXPANDS religious freedom, since it expands the choices of individual employees, including those who would use the insurance to have children others might not think they should have.

    “It makes me sick! You having freedom does not mean you get to force those who disagree with you to partake of your sins & then force them to be silent because their freedom of speech & religion is interfering with your narrow world view!”

    Who is forcing people to be silent?

    “We have freedom of religion for the specific purpose of preventing people like you from forcing your beliefs on everyone else, & destroying our freedom to use our resources on that which we believe in!”

    “Beliefs” are not being forced on everyone. When a company enters the marketplace, they have general rules they have to follow, even if some find them immoral. Such as serving interracial couples or women who some think should remain at home. They can “believe” still this is wrong.

  4. Pat says:

    Corporations are NOT PEOPLE, therefore have no religious beliefs. I am so tired of this hypocritical attitude that opposes abortion but will not support birth control, nor is there support to be found for these little ones once their born. I don’t agree with every law that gets passed, such as churches being tax exempt while the hierarchy lives high off the hog and there are people in the world starving. But the law says I have to go along with churches being tax exempt. I’d say MY rights are being trampled on, but I don’t because We all agree to a system of law that is supposed to promote legislation for the COMMON good, noth just the Christian common good. The laws are not there for only people of the Christian faith. I suggest you take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself what kind of a Christian you are. They’re are churches and there are parochial schools in which to practice your faith, no one is taking that away from you, but in secular matters, you have NO business telling someone else how to live their lives, and believe me, that is EXACTLY what you’re doing so don’t fool yourself. These nuns are doing a very courageous thing here – they should be praised for what I’m sure has been some serious soul searching and for deciding to live in the world with the rest of us.

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