By Herb Silverman
I support a woman’s right to an abortion at any time for any reason. I think government healthcare should cover abortions and offer free contraception for women, no exceptions. And I’m probably in the minority of pro-choice activists who think Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, makes a reasonable case for infanticide under certain circumstances.
I can’t understand why so many people who oppose abortion also oppose making contraceptives available to reduce the number of abortions. So why am I cautiously optimistic about the recent ruling by Federal Judge Richard J. Leon in favor of the anti-choice organization, March for Life, saying that it does not have to abide by Obamacare’s birth control mandate?
Here’s an analogy to explain why. When years ago some considered it “unladylike” for a woman to smoke, I had conversations with female smoking friends that went something like this:
Me: I don’t think women should smoke.
She: That’s ridiculous! Why is it OK for men to smoke, but not women?
Me: I don’t think men should smoke, either.
Just as I don’t think men should be privileged over women, I also don’t think religion should be privileged over conscience. That was the essence of Judge Leon’s ruling that if the Obamacare regulation of employer health insurance plans covering contraceptives could be exempt for religious beliefs, then a secular organization like March for Life could also be exempt for “moral” beliefs.
But here’s my conflict: I agree with Judge Leon that religion should not be privileged over conscience in this case, but I also think everyone should be afforded the right to contraceptives regardless of the views of their employer. This leads to three questions:
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