Public Issues Series: Contraception and the Affordable Care Act

contraception-afforable-careShould health insurance include coverage of contraception? Should the federal government require employers to provide health insurance plans that include birth control? Should employers who object to contraception on religious grounds be exempt? How should the Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as “ObamaCare,”bear on these questions? These issues will be addressed by nationally recognized speakers on both sides of the questions in Contraception, Religious Liberty and the Affordable Care Act on September 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Center for Civic Engagement in Wausau.

Matt Bowman, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, asks “Should every American have the freedom to live and do business according to their faith?  Or should Washington politicians and bureaucrats be able to force religious people to compromise their faith in order to earn a living or serve their community?” Bowman will be presenting the case against the Contraceptive Mandate. He notes that President Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993 to block the federal government from forcing people to violate their faith.  But agencies implementing ObamaCare announced they would impose penalties on employers who object to providing contraception. In 2012, Bowman argued in federal court for a restraining order for the Contraceptive Mandate on the grounds that it violated the religious liberty rights of employers.

Frances Kissling, founder and past president of Catholics for Free Choice, will be presenting the case in defense of the Contraceptive Mandate. Kissling writes: “Consider the claim that the mandate forces some religiously affiliated organizations to violate their conscience. Many state governments, including Wisconsin, require all providers of health insurance to include contraceptive services, irrespective of religious affiliation. Many Catholic hospitals and universities already provide health insurance plans that pay for contraception. On a more theological level, what was the status of church teaching about contraception? Did Catholic people have a right to follow their conscience in deciding whether or not to use it? The answer, of course, is that Catholics indeed do have such a right.“

The event will be moderated by Professor Mark Brown, Senior Fellow, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service.

This Public Forum is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service and the UWMC Lecture and Fine Arts Series. A question and answer session and a reception will follow the event. The event is free and open to the public. The CCE Theatre is located at 625 Stewart Avenue, Wausau. For more information, contact