“We were told, with the advent of the birth control pill, that we might at last grasp and achieve 'equality' with men,” something that fertility and childbearing had somehow “denied us.”
Uebbing argued that the mandate seems to promote the idea that a woman's ability to conceive children shows something is “wrong” with her body and needs to be corrected when the opposite is true.
Award-winning writer and Catholic Womanhood contributor Marianna Bartholomew also voiced concerns about the mandate's harmful effects on the nation's women.
“As a journalist,” Bartholomew said, “I see facts refuting the notion that flooding our nation with free contraceptives will lead to honoring women.”
The widespread use and availability of contraceptives has instead ultimately lead to women “being used for recreation, then discarded,” she noted.
Columnist Rebecca Teti also criticized the mandate but from the perspective of religious groups being forced to violate their beliefs.
“Why would anyone distort the Bill of Rights to compel private institutions built by private citizens to buy and distribute products that poison their consciences?” she asked the Obama administration.
The columnists' remarks come as former New York Times editorial writer Maura Casey attempted to garner support from Catholic women for the contraception mandate.
In a Feb. 23 article for the Hartford Courant, she called the U.S. bishops out of touch and highlighted what she called the “vast disconnect between Catholic teaching and the reality of our lives.”
Casey also cited statistics – recently debunked by Washington Post contributor Glenn Kessler – which claim that 98 percent of Catholic women have used artificial contraception.
She then referenced personal experiences and the opinions of her Catholic acquaintances who use birth control as support for the mandate.
“Like me, many would consider themselves irresponsible mothers if they did not tell their children to ignore the church's teaching on contraception.”
(Story cotinues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
If women do not “speak up” and support of the HHS mandate, Casey said, “scores of male commentators will get away with the pretense that they are speaking for us.”
Casey said that women, who are the “authorities on the importance of birth control to our health and freedom” know that “pregnancy is far more than a nine-month inconvenience.”
She also likened women who support the mandate to Galileo, saying that the Church has essentially forced women to whisper their support for something they were forced to renounce just as the astronomer did his scientific findings.
But Cathy Cleaver Ruse, senior fellow of Legal Studies for the Family Research Council, criticized Casey's “voice-of-the-oppressed” argument.
She pointed out that “the Church can only propose the truth of its beliefs” but not force anyone to accept them, as Casey suggests.
Ruse observed to CNA on Feb. 23 that within her circle of friends, she could name dozens of women who do not use contraception and “are not in the least bitter about it.”