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Wisconsin compels parishes, dioceses to provide contraceptive coverage

August 26, 2009

The bishops of Wisconsin have reacted angrily to a new state mandate that compels health insurance providers to include contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans.

“This mandate will compel Catholic dioceses, parishes, and other agencies that buy health insurance to pay for a medical service that Catholic teaching holds to be gravely immoral,” the bishops write. “Only dioceses or agencies that are self insured, such as La Crosse and Superior, are not covered by this mandate. As Catholic teachers and pastors, we strongly object to this blatant insensitivity to our moral values and legal rights … This mandate violates not just our religious values, but also our constitutional rights.”

“As citizens, we also object to the manner in which this law was adopted. Mandates of this kind deserve open debate and due deliberation. This mandate received neither. Processes consistent with open government permit competing arguments at public hearings. This process did not.”

The bishops continue:

We know that many of you find the teaching of our faith on contraception difficult to accept or live out in practice. As pastors and teachers, we find our conviction much reinforced because artificial contraception is not, in the first place, a “Catholic issue.” Rather, the prohibition of artificial contraception is a principle of the natural moral law, which is inscribed in the mind and heart of all human beings. The bond between husband and wife, in their inseparable love?making and life creating Vocation, is evident to human reason itself – another powerful consideration which should lead our legislators to take very seriously our conviction. Many fail to recognize the truth of our conviction, not because they are irrational, but because, in our day and age, the fashionable proposition that there is no objective truth renders human reason itself directionless.


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