A group of House Democrats chided Catholic bishops for opposing a part of the health care law that requires religious institutions to cover contraceptives in employee health insurance plans.
Illinois Democratic Rep. Michael Quigley said the Catholic Church should support President Barack Obama’s decision to implement the “mainstream” rule. (RELATED: Full coverage of the health care law)
“The vast majority of Catholic women are on birth control, support birth control and think it should be part of their health care plan. So, it just seems striking to me that someone would say this is a risky decision because it’s the right thing to do and it’s mainstream,” Quigley said Thursday on Capitol Hill.
California Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Catholic, called on the Catholic bishops to stop speaking out against the rule.
“I hope that the bishops in my church will stop telling all the parishioners who believe in the Catholic faith that this is a violation of their religious freedom,” said Becerra.
The ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler said the Catholic Church should stop imposing its religion on “other people.”
“We hear from the bishops that this is an intrusion and an invasion of the religious liberty of the Catholic Church and of other churches that teach that use of contraception is wrong, but this is not the case,” Nadler said.
“No one is telling the bishops that they cannot discriminate against women who may be selected as priests. No one is telling the bishops anything about the religious practices of the Catholic Church. What is at issue here is the bishops want the ability to impose their religious beliefs on other people, on the employees of religiously affiliated hospitals and universities and deny them, these employees who may or may not be of the same religious faith, deny them the equal access to contraception which almost everyone uses.”
Rep. Gwendolynne Moore declared that Democrats are “not allowing the church to stand on its bully pulpit and separate women from critical, vital health care needs.”
She continued, “The National Institute of Health has said that it is a danger to women’s health and safety of their families, that for 30 years to be exposed to the prospects of pregnancy.”