Columbus Protestors Say Health Care Reform Trampling Their Rights

Demonstrators protest at federal building in Columbus Friday(Photo: Sam Hendren, WOSU News)
Demonstrators protest at federal building in Columbus Friday(Photo: Sam Hendren, WOSU News)

Several hundred people demonstrated in front of the federal building in downtown Columbus Friday. They called for the repeal of a mandate issued by the Obama Administration in connection with the president’s health care reform. The mandate, say its opponents, requires employers to provide among other things, abortion-inducing drugs. The rally organizers say such a mandate is a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Ruth Yorston is executive director of Greater Columbus Right to Life.

“The mandate requires almost every single private insurance company – and by doing that also requires every religious organization – to provide or to pay for their employees’ contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacient drugs; drugs that actually cause the death of a living child,” said Yorston.

But Cathy Levine, executive director of UHCAN – the Universal Health Care Action Network says there are a number of religious groups that refuse to compromise.

“Reasonable compromises have been suggested that protect the religious beliefs and make sure that women have access to affordable health care,” Levine says. “And these groups are being unreasonable in refusing those compromises.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the health care overhaul beginning Monday.

  • Mtgphd

    These people are ignorant of some facts, and apparently willfully so. They do not acknowledge that this this issue is one of women’s health care, alone, and that the discrimination is against women for being women and having reproductive organs that sometimes dictate their lives, for example, not having reproductive health care, even contraceptives, will make it impossible for many women to be treated for health-related disorders, and also for women to plan their families so that they can participate in the economy, because they can structure their pregnancies so that they will be stable and productive members of the workforce. HOW MANY JOBS HAVE BEEN, WILL BE CREATED BY THESE KINDS OF LEGISLATIVE MANEUVERS? When I was young, women were not hired if pregnant, or sometime of child-bearing age, because of the negative effects thought to accrew with pregnancy related illnesses. I lost my first job as a married woman, because I became pregnant unintentionally because that was the “policy” of a large institution. I didn’t have access to the pill until I had had three children. My work income was a casualty to those years, and that’s what will happen again to many women and families, if women are denied health care based on
    some pretentious religious belief or another. If they want to make this “affordable health care” a matter of religion, then who is going to protect the rights of women like me to treat my body as the temple of my soul, which my religious affiliation wants me to do, and which religion is pro-choice. What about all of us needing health care. Will I be without it just because I’m an Episcopalian?

  • greta

    The health care reform act provides improves to the current health care system. A few groups insist on hijacking the whole law because of their narrow beliefs. Anyone who choose NOT to use reproductive health care–male or female–doesn’t have to. Everyone should have access to all health care services. The Affordable Health Care Reform Act seeks to make that possible. Instead of predigested opinions, people need to read a summary of the act.