Sandra Fluke, Birth Control, and the Catholic Church

I’ve never heard of Dan Mitchell before, but apparently he’s a libertarian blogger. He’s also, apparently, an idiot. In this post┬áhe characterizes Sandra Fluke as wanting the government to pay for her birth control.

That might be a good idea, but it’s not what this controversy is about. Anuone who thought for 10 seconds would realize that this has nothing to do with the government’s paying for birth control. To sum up the obvious:

  1. Sandra Fluke is a student. Students are required to pay for health insurance as a condition of enrollment. That’s true today in Massachusetts, under Romneycare, and it will be true for the whole country once Obamacare is fully in effect.
  2. The Catholic Church, which owns Georgetown University, wants to take Sandra Fluke’s premium money, but deny her birth-control coverage. Note that this does not lead to a premium reduction, since covering birth control lowers health care costs rather than raising them.
  3. So what the church is saying is that it should be able to force its own beliefs on the students and employees of the universities (and hospitals) it owns, and should still be subsidized by our tax money (and universities are heavily subsidized – not just by grants, but federal financial aid and tax exemption for all their real estate).

A more intelligent libertarian view would be that our tax dollars should not go to subsidize sectarian institutions. If Catholic (or other religious) universities want to get all that federal aid, they should follow the same rules as everyone else.

2 thoughts on “Sandra Fluke, Birth Control, and the Catholic Church”

  1. Basically Catholic Church can set any guidelines it wants for its church. The Catholic Church does not force anyone to be Catholic or to work at or attend Catholic institutions. The government can pass any laws through the legislature. That does not mean those laws pass the Constitutional test however. If a law prohibits a church from practicing its religion it very well could be ruled UnConstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Ms Fluke, as a law student, should be aware of this basic fact.

  2. I agree, to a point. But you do not speak to the point of my original post, viz., that a hospital is not a church. Neither is a university (as opposed to a seminary) a church. If a church chooses to go into business, those businesses have to follow the same laws as anyone else.

Comments are closed.