Thinks to the protests inspired by President Obama’s decision that all companies will have to cover birth control in their employees’ health care policies, the Catholic Church has suddenly discovered the importance of one of its most archaic and unpopular policies: the prohibition of birth control.
But Catholic institutions are playing along, despite the gross inconvenience to actual Catholics this particular policy poses. According to an article by Alana Goodman at Commentary:
Georgetown University’s student insurance program came under fire a few months ago during an unofficial congressional hearing after student and activist Sandra Fluke criticized its lack of birth control coverage. Since Fluke’s testimony, the university has been under mounting pressure to change its birth control coverage policy immediately. But today, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia confirmed in a letter to students that the university will not change its policy until it’s required to by law.
According to DeGioia “the student plan offered by Georgetown is consistent with our Catholic and Jesuit identity and does not cover prescription contraceptives for birth control.”
Technically the Catholic Church has no specific stance on whether or not Catholic institutions should cover birth control. The birth control prohibition applies only to individuals. This is a question that’s only relevant in countries like the United States; in most developed countries health care is simply provided by the state, and individual employers have no right to provide or deny coverage to employees based on their own principles.