LANSING, Mich. – The state House has voted to protect health care workers and insurers from being fired or sued for refusing to perform a procedure, fill a prescription or cover treatment for something they object to for moral, ethical or religious reasons.
The law would apply to doctors or nurses who decline to perform or assist with abortions and to pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for morning-after pills.
The Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly approved the four-bill package as dozens of Catholics looked on from the balcony.
The Michigan Catholic Conference, which pushed for the bills, hosted a legislative day for Catholics on Wednesday at the state Capitol. The Catholic Church opposes abortion and birth control.
The bills now go the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans.
The main bill in the package would create the Conscientious Objector Policy Act. It would allow +health+ care providers to assert an objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a procedure with which they do not agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused.
…The bill does not allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control.
So I guess some consciences are protected and others are not. If you are a faithful Catholic or one of the Protestants who also believe in the immorality of birth control then you are just out of luck. This caveat in the bill is just plain ridiculous. The morning after pill is really just a stronger dose of the normal birth control pill. This pill and the regular birth control pill both can stop implantation in the womb of a human person resulting in the starvation death of that child. If you are going to have a conscience clause and then dictate what consciences are allowed you have created a law that is ethically challenged and is in fact prejudiced and treats one religious belief as valid and another one as not. Of course this bill still has to go through Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Catholic that has vetoed anything that restricts abortion.
Why do Catholics believe that birth control is wrong?
‘Nother question: Is it also wrong to have a tubal?
“This caveat in the bill is just plain ridiculous.”
Not really because there are some instances where a person can legitimately take birth control pills such as excessive bleeding and exessive menstral pains. I have six sisters and some have had these problems and were put on birth control pills to alliviate the problem. As long as birth control is the side effect and not the reason for taking them there is no moral problem with taking them.
Isn’t the morning-after pill supposed to be for “emergencies”? And what counts as an “emergency” in regard to abotion? Doesn’t that emergency clause effectively render much of this law null and void.
That is not quite true and there are some serious caveats to what you said, especially since the law of double effect doesn’t apply here. You can not balance these symptoms with possibly causing an abortion.
Here is a question that was answered by Fr. Richard Hogan.
Question: I read in one of your previous answers that irregular menstrual cycles in women are the result of “underlying problems”. I have study this subject and know for a fact that many women who have irregular cycles are perfectly healthy. Many women use the birth control pill as a way of regulating their cycle, because an irregular cycle can be very frustrating and even embarrasing at times. I’d like to know the Church’s position on using the pill solely for this purpose. Also, if such a married woman engages in intercourse with her husband while on the pill solely for the aforementioned purpose, is she still sinning in the eyes of the Church?
If a woman is taking the pill for MEDICAL REASONS, i.e., non-contraceptive reasons, and THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE, then she is not sinning. However, since while on the pill, she can ovulate (break-through ovulation), she can conceive if there is sperm present around the time of ovulation. If there is a conception, a new child, then the baby will travel down the fallopian tube and try to lodge in the womb, but will be unable to do so because the pill prevents the build-up of soft lining in the womb. So the baby is “flushed out” of her body. This is the killing of a child, a very early abortion.
If there is absolutely no medical choice (and competent physicians have assured me over and over that there are alternatives for almost all conditions), then a woman MAY take the pill for medical reasons, but if she is married, she MUST abstain from the marital embrace for about ten days every month (the time when she would be normally fertile), otherwise there is the possibility of an abortion and a very grave sin.
Jennifer Granholm has a Catholic birth certificate–is that what you mean by saying she’s Catholic? That classification is debatable.
Bill, Jeff is right–do yourself a favor and listen to him. This is almost always an excuse.
I had one sister who was in such pain that she was laid up in bed for several days each month in tears because the pain was so severe. She was only a young teenager at the time so I presume that she was not sexually active but I believe that there are enough cases like this where people need birth control pills for non contraceptive purposes that we just can’t outlaw them. I do believe that you are right when you say that “This is ALMOST always an excuse”.
Fr. Hogans response does acknowledge that these situations do exist and they do not pose a problem for the person who is not active during certain times.
My sister has had a similar problem to Bill’s sister–tremendous pain every month–and she is no weenie. She put in a full day as a veterinary student on Monday after having emergency abdominal surgery on Friday.
As per the comments by Fr. Hogan and what I have heard from several Catholic doctors is that there are many alternatives in these cases to using the pill. Most physicians either don’t know them or just push the pill as the easy solution. So the case of no alternatives is actually very rare and abstaining during that ten day period avoids unintentionally killing a child.