Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 Things I Need You to Know...

...Even if you don’t agree with my thoughts on the HHS Mandate.
I know a bunch of people that read my blog/check my facebook don’t agree with me regarding the HHS Mandate- however, even if you are one of those people, you should read this post.  TRUST ME.  After you read it, you should be savvy when watching news coverage/listening to conversation about this issue.  There is a lot about this mandate that is greatly misunderstood…I shall discuss them now.

1st - This issue is not about birth control
This is so important and I REALLY hope people understand this.  The issue I have with the HHS mandate has little to do with birth control or sterilization.  If you have eight million years and want to go through my posts, you will see, until this happened, I have never once discussed birth control on my wall.  I have been a CYM for almost 8 years and although I talk ALL.THE.TIME about the Catholic plan for sexuality, I have never been one to openly discuss birth control at regular youth group meetings(ask me why and I will tell you, it makes sense).  Almost all of my friends/family (excluding FUSers of course) make it known that they use birth control and sometimes have encouraged me/my family members to use it, and I have never once tried to change their minds (but am always willing to discuss if anyone asks).  There is an awesome article currently going around fb about why the Church is right concerning birth control…and I have NOT reposted.  Why?  Because it has NOTHING to do with why the HHS Mandate is so horrifying to me.
The reason I have not posted about birth control/sterilization, don’t teach exclusively on it and the reason I don’t try to change my friends/families minds?  Because I don’t think it is an effective way to spread the message regarding the beauty of NFP.   I witness it, I will answer questions if people approach me, but I just don’t think it is effective to ‘try to convince’ people through facebook, etc…
THE HHS MANDATE ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL/STERILIZATION.  What the Church is saying is that She should not have to pay for Her employees (either directly or indirectly) through Her institutions, to do something She has deemed morally unacceptable. 

2nd - The Roman Catholic Church is not trying to take away your ‘right’ to birth control/sterilization
The Church is not saying you can’t use it if you work for her institutions.  The Church is not saying that you don’t have a ‘right’ to birth control.  What the Church is saying is that She should not have to pay for Her employees (either directly or indirectly) through Her institutions, to do something She has deemed morally unacceptable. 

3rd- The Roman Catholic Church is not trying to deny you ‘access’ to birth control/sterilization
This is the most ridiculous thing that news station after news station is reporting.  Guess what?  EVERYONE has easy access to birth control.  When I say easy, I mean easy.  It is not hard, in this country, to get birth control and to get it cheap.  For the administration/news reports/or my favorite, ‘Catholic experts’ to suggest that the Bishops have an issue with ‘access’ to birth control is REDONKULOUS.  Can we really not see through this?  What the Church is saying is that She should not have to pay for Her employees (either directly or indirectly) through Her institutions, to do something She has deemed morally unacceptable. 

4th- Birth Control/Sterilization is NOT the only form of preventative medicine regarding pregnancy
This one really, how you say, gets my feathers in a ruffle.  Not because I think the administration is calling pregnancy a disease (in effect they are, but that is not what they mean, so I try not to capitalize on sensational things).  The reason this one RILES me up is because there is another way to prevent pregnancy.  It is actually really simple to understand, though not always easy to do (trust me and my 30 years of abstinence before I met Aaron).  One can prevent pregnancy by not having sex.  When I listen to Mr. President and his friends make it appear that the ONLY way to prevent pregnancy is through artificial birth control, I cannot handle it because I simply can’t imagine that the average American is truly listening and nodding as he speaks. Now, I get that some people use birth control for other medical reasons (which is something I can talk about later, if you’d like me to), but that is not what the administration is referring to…and we all know it.  To illustrate why this upsets me so, I would like to tell a story…
Yesterday, I went to the hospital for ultra sound and had to fill a prescription.  Due to acid reflux, something I have always dealt with but is exaggerated in pregnancy, I had to fill a Nexium prescription.  I have to take Nexium so that acid does not burn a hole through my esophagus (and before you ask, diet does not help, we have tried).  My husband Aaron has probably the best insurance in the world, because he works for a hospital.  And with the best.insurance.possible, we still had to pay, out of pocket,  $405 to fill that prescription.  Read it again, I did say $405.  Although I think that is highway robbery, and should be explored, I am not complaining about that today.  What I am complaining about is that the administration thinks that the Catholic Church, through her institutions, should directly or indirectly pay for birth control WITHOUT A COPAY, FOR FREE, because it is a necessary preventative medicine.  Meanwhile, I am paying $405 to ensure a hole is not burned through my esophagus, a friend can’t get insurance to cover her son’s speech therapy, and behavioral therapies for children struggling with the autism spectrum are RARELY covered…and yet, birth control is essential? 
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???  There is a sure proof, though sometimes difficult way to prevent pregnancy, one.doesn’t.have.sex.  It works.  NFP, as I am sure you all know, is more effective than artificial birth control (though does require that 5-10 days, depending on your cycle, you cannot engage in sex a month).
Current administration?  Do people really believe the things you say?  The answer, sadly, yes.

5th- The Church will.not. provide directly/indirectly birth control/sterilization for the employees of Her institutions.
Something that is getting lost, sadly, in this debate, is that it is not really a debate.  This is not a political talking point that people can have opinions on.  This is not something that the administration can ‘convince’ the American people of.  The American Catholic Church, through institutions that choose to remain loyal to her, will NOT follow this mandate.  That might seem surreal to some of you, and some of you may not believe me, but it is true.  So, although, ‘Catholic experts’ on CNN can speculate that the church will decide to fall in line, I can tell you right now, She will not.  And that my friends, is a hopeful point that we are sometimes forgetting to mention.

WHEW!  That really was a book, but I had to get it out. And now I feel better. Thank you and God bless.


  1. Very, very well written! I wholeheartedly agree!

  2. yea Mary! you tell it as it is. simple and true. we need to let the government know the HHS Mandate is wrong.
    thank you for a wonderful article. You should submit it to the MI Catholic.
    Denise Ficorelli