Pelosi: Yes, of course, the Catholic Church should be forced to cover contraception — even if it’s self-insured

posted at 5:30 pm on February 16, 2012 by Allahpundit

Remember, the “compromise” is that insurance companies will foot the bill for contraception themselves so that religious institutions technically aren’t paying for it. That’s a minor concession given that the plan will still cover birth control — and it’s a nonexistent concession if premiums end up rising to pay for the contraception — but that was the compromise. One wrinkle: What happens if the religious institution is the insurance company, i.e. if it self-insures? Surely they get a conscience exemption in that case, right?

Right?

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday morning that the government should require self-insured religious institutions, such as the Catholic church in Washington, D.C., to directly pay for contraception and abortifacients.

At a press conference, Leader Pelosi was asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD: “The Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., is a self-insured institution. Should the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., be required to pay for these morning-after pills and birth control if they find that morally objectionable?”

Pelosi talked about the importance of women’s health, and then said, “Yes, I think that all institutions who cover, who give, health insurance should cover the full range of health insurance issues for women.”

That’s from the Standard’s John McCormack, whom you can hear posing the question to Pelosi in the video below of today’s presser (via Breitbart TV). When McCormack asked Dick Durbin about an exemption for self-insurers, he at least struggled with the issue. Not Nancy. When access to the pill collides with what she once eloquently described as “this conscience thing” that Catholics have, religious freedom bows without hesitation. Someone should float this “compromise” for her at the next media availability: What if the Church grandfathered in current employees by providing full coverage but eliminated contraception coverage for future hires? A job applicant could take that deal or leave it; this way, over time, the Church would gradually phase out coverage of birth control as employees retire instead of pulling the rug out from under current personnel. (Whether the bishops would agree to that, I don’t know. They should be asked too.) Everyone else in the world considers the benefits package when deciding whether to accept a job offer, after all. If that means only Catholics end up working for the Church, the Church will have to make do with its newly limited hire pool.

Here’s the clip. Watch to the end to find Pelosi, a Catholic herself, pushing the crapola statistic that 98 percent of Catholic women have used contraception. Exit question via Nick Rizzuto: Is it time to mandate that vegetarian restaurants serve the healthy (and tasty) protein source known as red meat?


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