Massachusetts Republican governor mandates employers provide ‘free’ birth control
MASSACHUSETTS, November 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, the Republican governor of Massachusetts signed into law unanimously-passed legislation requiring all employers, regardless of moral objections, to provide employees with “free” contraception and abortifacient drugs.
“Massachusetts has a chance to send a message to other parts of the country about how we think and feel about this issue,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at the bill’s signing ceremony.
The President of Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion vendor, praised the law, saying “we need everyone — lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, business leaders, artists — to follow Massachusetts’ lead and take action.”
Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak of Planned Parenthood’s Massachusetts advocacy fund said this is “a monumental victory for Massachusetts women and families.”
The law was passed in response to the Trump administration issuing regulations freeing conscientious objectors like the Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to participate in the provision of contraception and abortifacient drugs. The Catholic Church teaches that the use of contraception is “intrinsically evil” (CCC 2370).
The Little Sisters of the Poor’s mission is to uphold the dignity of human life by caring for the elderly poor.
“Good research shows that very few sexually active women forgo contraception due to either cost or availability,” Dr. Michael New, a Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Ave Maria University and an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told LifeSiteNews.
New is a leading social scientist with expertise in abortion- and contraception-related public policy.
“There is a broad body of economics and public health research which shows that efforts to promote contraceptive use through legalization, subsidies. distribution, or mandates are ineffective at best or counterproductive at worst,” he said. “A recent study by two Notre Dame economists found that 1990s-era condom distribution programs in U.S. high schools increased teen pregnancy rates.”
New also pointed to “a study published in the Journal of Health Economics this summer found the cuts to British teen contraceptive programs actually reduced teen pregnancy rates.”
“Finally, my own Ave Maria Law Review article found that contraceptive mandates that are in place in over 15 U.S. States have had no statistically significant impact on either abortion rates or unintended pregnancy rates,” he said. “Mandates like the one just enacted in Massachusetts offer no public health benefit and only serve to burden the consciences of religious employers who may have moral objections to the use of certain types of contraception.”
Massachusetts Citizens for Life “was opposed to this law because, for the first time, it requires free access to abortifacient so-called ‘emergency contraception’ without exemption for most employers,” it wrote on Facebook.
“From the perspective of a physician that works with people who have real medical necessities, this is a pure political ploy,” Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie of the Catholic Association told LifeSiteNews. “As a doctor, what always amazes me when I see initiatives like this is that there are so many medical necessities that are inaccessible to so many Americans without a co-pay or with a co-pay.”
“Health insurance is so beyond so many peoples means right now and premiums are going up and not down,” she said, yet contraception with or without a co-pay is readily available. “I talk to patients all the time who can’t afford their insulin or their test strips because they have diabetes” and “patients who are desperately wondering how to afford another round of antibiotics for their sick mom.”