Student Group at Catholic University Opposes the HHS Mandate
A student group at the Catholic University of America has released a statement about their opposition to the Obama Administration's controversial HHS mandate which requires Catholic institutions to pay for birth control and abortafacients for their employees.
Contact: Mary Clare Spence, President, Vita Familiae, 214-662-9633, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- As students and members of Vita Familiae at The Catholic University of America, we oppose the HHS contraceptive mandate. A society that insists that contraceptives be distributed for free is a society that values pleasure over the dignity of the human person. Contraception is not necessary for women's health. In fact, there is abundant evidence that contraception can be harmful to women's physical and psychological health. It turns the woman into an object to be used rather than a person to be valued and makes it easier for women to do the same to men. Contraception denies both the procreative and the unitive meanings of the sexual act. The HHS mandate treats fertility as a disease, and by making the "treatment" free, implies that "curing" it is our most important public health priority. A child is not the unfortunate result of a biological disorder, nor is it a commodity that everyone has the right to possess. A child is a gift bestowed on its parents by virtue of their spousal union. This mandate violates the First Amendment right of religious liberty of Catholic Americans by forcing their cooperation in acts that violate the moral teaching of the Church. More broadly, this mandate tramples on the rights of conscience of millions of Americans whose considered judgment is that contraception violates the moral law and undermines the wellbeing of the women and men who resort to it. There is no place for this mandate in a free and just society.
Vita Familiae is a student organization that promotes the values of marriage and family in society. It is a member group of the Love & Fidelity Network and receives support and training from The Ruth Institute.
Since the details of the mandate were announced and it became clear that religious exemptions for Catholic institutions would not be available, every single US Catholic bishop (that's 181 bishops) has spoken out against the mandate.
The list of Catholic institutions which have taken a stand also continues to grow. At this time, only two Catholic universities have filed lawsuits, but more are expected in the coming weeks; those are Ave Maria and Belmont Abbey College. Other Christian colleges which have filed suit include Geneva College and Colorado Christian University. While CCU's suit is being handled by the Alliance Defense Fund, the other lawsuits, including Ave Maria's, are being handled by The Becket Fund For Religious Liberty.
The Catholic University of America has also issued a press release about their opposition to the mandate. But unlike Belmont Abbey and Ave Maria University, Catholic U has not yet filed a lawsuit against the administration. Perhaps Vita Familiae's next project should be petitioning their school administration to do just that.
If you attend a Catholic school which has not spoken out against the mandate, or has not filed suit against the federal government, petition your administration to do just that. Contact your Regional Field Coordinator for advice and resources.