The New Contraception Mandate: Wrong on Every Level

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Aug 02, 2011

While I object on moral grounds to forcing health insurance companies to provide contraception (see US: private insurers must offer free contraception under new mandate), it is hard to see anything else, moral or otherwise, that is not objectionable about this decision.

Most importantly, of course, the new mandate forces health insurers to pay for the immoral use of drugs, therefore violating God’s law, which ought to be no small consideration. It even forces those insurers who may abhor contraception to participate. And finally, it forces all Americans who pay for health insurance, whether privately or through taxes, to subsidize this immorality. But there are non-moral, prudential issues here as well.

First, the mandate determines what coverage an insurance provider must offer, something which is far better determined by market dynamics. Second, it forces medical insurance to provide for non-medical needs. Pregnancy is not a disease, and the use of contraception to prevent it is purely elective. Third, it forces health insurance to subsidize inherently risky behavior. The link between contraception and promiscuity is simple and clear, as is the link between promiscuity and a wide variety of diseases. Moreover, contraceptive “treatments” carry a significant health risk of their own.

I grant that an insurance company might sense a vested interest in keeping pregnancy expenses as low as possible, but the complete health ramifications of contraception suggest a different story even in terms of dollars and cents, not only in terms of health expenses, but in terms of reducing the potential number of people paying health insurance premiums in the future.

And there is still more, though it may be often overlooked. Encouraging women not to bear children runs completely contrary to our social interests. Wherever this attitude has taken hold, it has produced a demographic winter which seriously jeopardizes not only the comfort but the stability and even prolonged existence of the social order. Around the world, countries afflicted with this mentality face rapidly aging populations demanding support which the smaller younger populations will not be willing to provide, and very likely will not be able to provide. Truly, we reap what we sow, and when we sow nothing, there is nothing to reap.

The new Health and Human Services mandate is wrong on every level. Not the least of these wrongs is that it is socially suicidal. It may, I suppose, hasten the day when our sick culture implodes, to be replaced with a culture less darkened by its own blinders. But this mandate, in addition to being morally wrong, is yet another example of our ingrained and programmatic cultural stupidity.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 03, 2011 2:56 PM ET USA

    I agree with your points on the contraceptive mandate. However, that "the mandate determines what coverage an insurance provider must offer, something which is far better determined by market dynamics" needs examination. Most private health insurance plans contain an anachronistic exclusion for treatment for autism, although autism is now treatable, albeit at a cost that the uninsured can't afford. You okay with "the market" withholding treatment from an autistic grandchild? Moral?

  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Aug. 03, 2011 2:34 AM ET USA

    I believe that the second reason is the one with the most legs in the secular community. Paying for purely elective procedures, such as contraception and abortion, are not medical necessities. Since we are concerned with providing the necessary medical care, those options should be eliminated. Otherwise, what logical reasoning is there to exclude breast augmentation? You could cook up some half-baked psychological mumbo-jumbo about self esteem to justify that elective procedure. Lame logic.

  • Posted by: MAG - Aug. 02, 2011 8:35 PM ET USA

    There's no guarantee that our culture will be replaced by one "less darkened". Witness the former Constantinople.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Aug. 02, 2011 8:30 PM ET USA

    We are losing the culture war and barring Divine Intervention on the level of another Fatima type miracle I don't think the US or the West are going to be able to be saved. In fact, in my own life I have pretty much given up on politics and trying to reform the culture outside my own home and those I am friends with. I think we will see a persecution before things get better, if they get better. Perhaps we should simply pray and offer up our sufferings for as many souls as we can.