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Contraceptives

NEWS
March 28, 2012 | By Karin Klein
In 1957, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth-control pills, it wasn't for birth control. The contraceptives won approval as a treatment for severe menstrual disorders; temporary infertility was a side effect. Funny, women across the country suddenly started complaining in droves about severe menstrual disorders. As religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, continue to complain about federal policies that would require that health insurance cover family planning (President Obama worked out a compromise deal under which the insurance companies would absorb the cost, but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops still sees this as undue interference)
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NATIONAL
March 24, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - A challenge to part of President Obama's healthcare law that hits the Supreme Court on Tuesday could lead to one of the most significant religious freedom rulings in the high court's history. Four years ago, in their controversial Citizens United decision, the justices ruled that corporations had full free-speech rights in election campaigns. Now, they're being asked to decide whether for-profit companies are entitled to religious liberties. At issue in Tuesday's oral argument before the court is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide workers a health plan that covers the full range of contraceptives, including morning-after pills and intrauterine devices, or IUDs.
NEWS
December 6, 2013 | By Paul Thornton
Can a business like Hobby Lobby legitimately claim religious freedom in its legal battle against the Affordable Care Act's mandate that insurance plans cover drugs some people believe cause abortions? Notre Dame law professor Richard W. Garnett argued on The Times' Op-Ed page Thursday that Hobby Lobby -- which, he notes, closes its stores on Sundays so its employees can go to church, has Christian music as its stores' background music and doesn't sell shot glasses -- has the beliefs of its owners so embedded in its business practices that requiring it to cover abortifacients would indeed violate its religious freedoms.  So far, readers have bristled at Garnett's argument.
NEWS
March 3, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
Rush Limbaugh has lost another advertiser on his radio talk show as the fallout continued from his use of the terms “slut” and “prostitute” to ridicule a woman who has advocated for expanded access to birth control. Quicken Loans Inc. has suspended its advertising on the Limbaugh show, the company said in a statement posted to its website. It was a reversal for the Detroit-based online mortgage lender, which had initially issued a statement in support of Limbaugh's right to express himself.
OPINION
February 7, 2014
Re "The rights of the religious," Editorial, Feb. 4 The Times rightly defends but wrongly interprets a federal law that forbids the government from imposing "substantial burdens" on the exercise of religious convictions and requires federal officials to pursue the "least restrictive means" of achieving any "compelling interest. " The Times neglects 1st Amendment principles in defending the administration's attempts to force employers with conscientious objections to bow to the government's edict to have employee insurance policies that provide controversial contraceptives.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed Sunday to fight the administration's requirement that insurers provide contraceptive coverage for faith-based employers. McConnell said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he would press legislation to exempt all employers from providing insurance coverage for contraceptives if they have religious or moral objections. "We'll be voting on that in the Senate, and you can anticipate that would happen as soon as possible.…This issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down," he said.
NEWS
February 12, 2012 | By David G. Savage
White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said Sunday that President Obama had found the “right balance” in mandating birth control coverage while protecting religious liberty, and he said the administration would now press ahead to adopt a final rule requiring health insurers to make contraceptives available to all policyholders at no cost. This is “the right policy” and a “very good resolution” of the dispute that had flared between Catholic leaders and the White House, Lew said in a series of appearances on the Sunday talk shows.  “We didn't expect there would be universal acceptance” of the compromise announced Friday, but a “broad range of groups” had applauded Obama's plan, he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 1990
Your editorial was both moving and important. As you suggest, contraceptives can help to avoid this rapidly increasing problem. But contraception is not, as you state, the only way to deal with the problem. Clearly, the prejudice in so many societies against lesbians and gay men is a means of forcing them to act as if they were heterosexual, and reproduce, or suffer punishment because they do not, ordinarily, have children. The twin goals of population stability and respect for human rights are both violated by insisting that homosexual people act against their own sexual orientation and enter heterosexual relationships.
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