'Separation of church, state has crumbled'

Last modified: 3/14/2012 12:00:00 AM
On March 7, I was part of a large group of men and women, young and old, who went to the State House to protest House Bill 1546. It was passed and will now move to the Senate for its vote.

This bill would reverse a law instituted 12 years ago by a bipartisan group that required coverage for contraceptives if the employer's insurance policy also covered other prescriptions. It worked quite well until the fundamentalist Tea Party legislators came into power.

Last week, the separation between church and state crumbled. The church can now dictate its demands to the state of New Hampshire.

The bill allows employers who for religious reasons object to artificial birth control to remove coverage for contraceptives in whatever health insurance they offer their employees. For some odd reason, Viagra and Cialis are not part of these exclusions - even though abstinence would surely take care of those 'problems.'

A proponent of the bill, Rep. Andrew Manuse of Derry, said that, 'The idea our friends are posing is that government's job is to force people to pay for something they don't want so that people who do want it don't have to pay for it.' Really? 'People' might not be for cancer medication or stem-cell transplants because it causes their insurance premiums to go up. Jehovah's Witness employers might not be for blood transfusions because it goes against their religious beliefs.

Doesn't birth control coverage prevent some abortions? I do believe that people on both sides of that issue would agree that lowering the number of abortions would be good. Since sex seems to be a permanent part of our lives, coverage for birth control should be part of a health coverage plan.

CATHY MERWIN

Meredith




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