Some running for President and their supporters are squealing as loud as they can against a new requirement that enterprises offering health insurance to employees must include contraception as part of the coverage. Their claim is that this requirement is somehow contrary to the wording of the First Amendment that mentions religion as follows. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The argument is that therefore requiring coverage for contraception is unconstitutional because their beliefs instruct that using contraception instead of abstinence is naughty and maybe even subverts their god’s plan. Nonsense!
The free exercise of religion does not include that a person gets to impose their own religious beliefs on others and claim a First Amendment Constitutional protection in doing so. Again, that would be nonsense.
Since we now know contraception provides several health benefits besides preventing pregnancies that may be unwanted or unaffordable, trying to limit someone’s access to it when they might not be able to afford it cannot be justified under the notion of religious freedom.
No religious beliefs exist that trump another person’s right to their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and safeguarding one’s health is a natural right under all three.