For a little while now I thought that I missed some memo that everybody else in the country got. Then it finally came to me this afternoon…this is not, I repeat NOT, a social issue. This is a religious issue being masked as a social issue. Why do I say that?
Every year that I was a student at ESR, I was required to buy health insurance. As far as I know, almost every graduate student is required to buy insurance (and many undergraduates are too). My classmates were lucky…contraceptives were covered in the plans that were offered to us, but it could have easily been the opposite–as it is with many who study at Catholic (and some fundamentalist) affiliated institutions. However, all the insurance plans cover Viagra (or whichever ED drug one chooses)–which seems to be a disconnect.
This is why I now believe that this (the brouhaha over how contraceptives get covered) is not a social issue; if it were only a social issue then any insurance that covers Viagra and the like would cover contraceptives. So the brouhaha shows that this is not a social issue, but a religious one (and by religious I do NOT mean religious freedom).
The religious issue is one that those of us on this side of the pond have been wrestling with since the Pilgrims arrived on these shores…who is worthy? That question is a slight variation of the “elect” question that is so much of Calvinistic theology and it plays out in much the same way.
So wherever you stand on whether insurance plans that workers/students at religiously affiliated secular institutions should offer contraceptive coverage or not, know that you are not talking about a social issue but a religious one.