A political ploy

To the editor:

I wish to respond to Scott Burkhart’s letter of March 7. Mr. Burkhart gives voice to the latest culture war salvo of the Republican Party, decrying the proposed contraceptive mandate as an attack on religious freedom, particularly the Catholic Church. Nonsense. His position conveniently ignores several salient facts:

Studies have shown that no less than 98 percent of Catholics have used contraception. Like most employers, the archdiocese pays a portion of the health insurance coverage for employees; the employee pays the rest. Is it fair to say that contraception care is paid for by the employee who uses it (and has a co-pay) and not the church? 

At least 26 states already have laws that require insurance companies to provide coverage for contraception, including such dark red states as Georgia, Texas and Virginia. Georgia’s law is among several that do not allow for an employer or employee to opt out of paying for the coverage for religious or moral reasons. The Georgia law was passed over 20 years ago by a Republican legislature and signed by a Republican governor. Catholic institutions in the state have been adhering to the law without a peep. Is it fair to say that the outrage now is a political ploy? 

And finally, my favorite, insurance plans universally pay for Viagra. Men can play, but women can’t? It is clear this latest tempest in a teapot is just another political attack meant to rally the troops of the conservatives against the president’s administration.