Some oppose fed agency's new contraception rule

January 31, 2012 2:46:30 PM PST
There's a new church and state church and state battle brewing. The Obama administration has issued a new rule requiring health insurance companies to pay for birth control.

That's not sitting too well with the Catholic church because using birth control is against the church's teachings.

This past Sunday, a lot of Catholic heard about the church's specific concern about the latest mandate from the Obama administration. A lot are still wondering why and what's next.

At midday Mass, Edwardo and Mary Garcia-Ramon have no doubt where their Catholic faith stands on the government's new health insurance policy.

"I don't think they should make a nurse or a doctor perform something against their religion," Edwardo said.

The US Department of Health and Human Services recently said it will require employers, including places like Christus St. Catherine, a Catholic hospital, to cover birth control and the morning after pill.

In statement issued earlier this month, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo called the ruling "a radical incursion into religious liberty and freedom of conscience" and that the "HHS's mandate includes an incredibly narrow exemption for 'religious employers' that protects almost no one."

But some say it's the role of hospitals to treat all, regardless of religion.

"If the Catholic community is serving everyone, then they should be able to give out birth control," Katy resident Dawn Dufour said. "You can't be a Catholic hospital and say we're not giving out birth control but receive the money and the insurance from the whole entire community and not offer it."

Though Catholics we talked to say forcing Catholic health providers to doing something against their core beliefs is simply not acceptable.

"It's not trying to say like we're being mean or anything like that; it's just that these are what our faith is, and it's what we believe is moral," parishioner John Gonzalez said.

The debate is far from over. The Christus health care system, one of the largest Catholic hospital systems in Texas, says they're still looking at the mandate, seeing what to do next and so far, there's nothing certain yet.