I’m writing in response to Ms Carmen Hartono’s letter (State Must Provide ‘Health Services’, CN, March 11).

With respect to the recent US contraceptive mandate, Ms Hartono concludes that “the state must provide health services to ALL women regardless of how the Church judges her decisions”.

In an article published in last month’s Wall Street Journal, Evangelical Protestants and Jews united with Catholics in condemning the mandate as contrary to the very separation of Church and state that Ms Hartono advocates.

Universal healthcare coverage has never been a reality in the United States. Health insurance plans are selected by employers when offered at all, and not all plans are accepted by all healthcare providers.

The problem with healthcare in America is far, far more complicated than coverage for contraception, and there have always been insurance plans that exclude such coverage arbitrarily.

Finally, with regard to Ms Hartono’s concern over the separation of Church and state, please recognise that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is not rallying to abolish anyone’s “right” to contraception, but merely asserting that the Church must not be obligated to finance a practice she has consistently, publicly and gravely condemned.

Denise Nahigian

Related links:
Letter: Fine line between Church and state - but it exists

Letter: Church not abolishing anyone's 'right'

Letter: State must provide 'health services'

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