Religious zealots try to impose their beliefs on women

science vs. religion

Since when is bald faced lying an acceptable religious practice?

In an amazing coincidence two groups of religious zealots have waded into the public fray. Both have done so ostensibly to promote American values. Both are attempting to control women’s bodies. And both groups are lying.

Catholic bishops claim that they are fighting for that quintessential American value, freedom of religion, in opposing a goverment mandate to include contraception in health insurance plans. Protestant zealots (joined in some cases by Catholic zealots) are blustering that proposed laws to mandate ultrasounds before abortion are nothing more than efforts to provide women with information needed to make the medical decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Both groups are lying. Both groups are attempting to violate that quintessential American value, freedom of religion. Indeed they are attempting to impose THEIR religion on people of other religions or no religion at all. And they are doing it in exactly the same way. They are committed to “rationing by inconvenience.”

Make no mistake; this is about Catholic zealots imposing their belief that birth control is immoral and this is about Protestant zealots imposing their belief that abortion is immoral. There has been no attempt to restrict their religious freedom. No one is attempting to force the Catholic bishops to use birth control and no one is attempting to force the Protestant zealots to have abortions. No one in either group is belng forced to violate his or her religious convictions by engaging in a practice that he or she deems immoral.

So why are the Catholic bishops and Protestant zealots upset? Because they don’t want OTHER PEOPLE to use birth control and they don’t want OTHER PEOPLE to have abortions. Oops, let me amend that. They don’t want WOMEN to use birth control and they don’t want WOMEN to have access to abortion. What a coincidence. Both are trying to impose their religious convinctions on WOMEN’S bodies.

Both the Catholic bishops and the Protestant zealots are trying to use the same method to accomplish their religious objectives: rationing by inconvenience.

Rationing by inconvenience is used by health insurance companies to deprive members of covered services. By making it difficult to access those services (mandating pre-approvals, denying payments, forcing members into complaint resolution and abitration) insurance companies attempt to reduce use of expensive services or force members to pay out of pocket for those services in order to access them in a timely fashion. Rationing by incovenience is used by religious zealots in precisely the same way. By refusing to pay for the health service of contraception, the Catholic bishops hope to discourage women, particularly poor women, from using birth control. Protestant and Catholic zealots hope to prevent women from accessing legal abortion by interposing inconvenience, whether it is waiting periods or mandate ultrasound exams that are both medically unnecessary and physically invasive. For example, religious zealots in the Virginia legislature are hoping that by mandating an invasive vaginal ultrasound, they can discourage women from having abortions.

That’s bad enough. What’s worse is that they are lying about it. Catholic bishops are trying to discourage the USE of birth control. Refusing to pay for it is just a tactic in preventing the use of contraception. It has nothing to do with the bishops’ religious freedom. Mandating medically unnecessary, inconvenient and uncomfortable procedures as requirement before accessing abortion has nothing to do with providing women with information.

These religious zealots should not be allowed to control women’s bodies by limiting their access to safe, legal medical TREATMENTS. They are attempting to impose THEIR religious values on women who don’t share them. These tactics should be rejected as fundamentally un-American attempts at religious coercion.

  • Chaosfeminist

    Dr Tuteur, I was wondering why you use the term “zealot” when referring to protestants but “bishop” when referring to Catholics? The US Conference of Catholic Bishops are religious zealots, out of touch with what most mainstream Catholics believe. It is this organization that prohibits affiliated hospitals from performing tubal ligation during cesarean section, prohibits affiliated hospitals from giving rape victims emergency contraception, and wanted to prohibit insurance companies from covering birth control. I would like to see you cover this organization, and how they are hurting women’s healthcare in this country. On another note, I would like to see a skeptical treatment of the ethics of religious institutions buying up hospitals so they can impose their beliefs on patients while profiteering .

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