Letter to the Editor: Constitutional Limits

Letter to the Editor: Constitutional Limits

February 08, 2012
Originally published in The Washington Examiner

Edd Doerr made bizarre claims in defending the Obama administration's unjustified rule forcing Catholic hospitals and colleges to pay for contraception and abortifacients starting in 2013. He claimed that if Catholic institutions were not forced to pay for contraceptives, that would infringe on "the religious freedom" of employees "who do not agree with the moral teachings of the bishops." Nonsense. No one has a constitutional "right" to force their employer to pay for anything, much less contraceptives. The Constitution limits the power of the government, not private entities, and does not create "rights" against religious employers.

Employees are perfectly capable of buying their own contraceptives, so there is no compelling reason to force churches to pay for them. Doing so violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects religious entities' right to follow their convictions in all but extreme cases.