Columnist Kathleen Parker (TNT, 2-5) asserts that reaction to the Susan G. Komen foundation action and the rule including contraceptive care in health care “tread on fundamental freedoms” of “conscience and religious liberty.”
While Parker’s columns can be interesting, she has missed the mark on this one. She confuses the rights of individuals with organizational obligations.
While Komen is legally free to decide how to distribute the money it receives, that money is obtained from individuals choosing to fight breast cancer and improve women’s health. The reaction to Komen’s decision by thousands of those same individuals who choose not to give money or effort to Komen is the exercise of individual conscience and is not “rabid.”
It should be remembered that Komen is an organization whose unelected board injected a very hot political topic into what had been a nonpartisan effort for women’s health.
Regarding contraception, the rule requiring organizations offering health care to include contraceptive care should apply to all hospitals regardless of structure. Catholic hospitals that provide hospital care to one of every six patients nationally comprise a large part of the employment opportunities for health-care providers.
Those organizations do not need and should not have special treatment that effectively blocks workers from obtaining adequate contraceptive services. The freedom of religion of individual Catholics is not impacted by this rule, but thousands of workers at Catholic hospitals will benefit.