The argument presented by institutions such as Hobby Lobby and the case study entity, Wheaton College is considered theological in nature rather dealing with the contraceptive issue as a healthcare concern. However, based on religious ethical grounds, these institutions are justified in the refusal to offer coverage of birth control methods for their employees (Communications, 2016). Fundamentally, this conscientious refusal is based on core religious beliefs that are considered highly influential to individuals’ personal values. Case in point, the United Methodist Church is one of the religious entities that have strongly opposed this law based on the belief that the state should not interfere or in any way seek to control the church in order to uphold religious integrity (Communications, 2016). The important aspect that requires understanding at this point that such values and beliefs that are grounded on religion constitute the integral components of personal integrity and self-identification (Communications, 2016). Thus, from this standpoint, there is need for these institutions’ rights to be protected against violation, which would be in the form of complying with the birth control coverage. Additionally, it is important for employees to understand that religious liberty should be protected both legally and ethically.
Another aspect that supports the ethical nature of this decision is that fact that according to the religious freedom Restoration Act which was implemented in 1993 states that the government should not coerce or burden an individual when exercising their religion (Communications, 2016). The exception of this law is only in instances where there is limited restriction or restrictive means of meeting the government’s demands. Case in point, by the government ruling that companies should offer mandatory coverage of their female employees through the provision of 20 alternatives of contraceptives as per indicated by the FDA regardless of forms that have created controversy based on their mode of preventing pregnancy. According to LifeWatch’s editor, Rev. Paul T. Stallworth as well as other Methodist clergy, this law breaches the freedom of religion as it coerces the church to take on a stronger role by permitting the coverage of medication considered as abortifacients (Communications, 2016). Thus, by choosing to remain incompliant to this Act cannot be considered as unethical but rather strongly supported as religiously ethical.
Lastly, it is important to note that the action to refusal of birth control by the case study institutions is ethical based on the sole fact that corporate personhood which allows for religious exemptions from laws that act against their faith (Communications, 2016). Christian no-profits such as Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College have the right to exercise their religious freedom through seeking exemption from the regulation of offering birth control healthcare, which is against their religious beliefs. In support of this, Justice Ruth Ginsburg opinionated that with regards to the Hobby Lobby case, the exemptions should be granted to religious based entities and establishments for the purpose of upholding the rights of corporate personhood as well as freedom to exercise religion. Additionally, with the ever-increasing diversification of religion within the American population, the positive reception of the law in bending the rule of religion would support corporate abuse of religion thus negatively influencing the entire workforce. Thus, simply stated, the decision by Wheaton College and Hobby Lobby is ethical in protecting the faith of employers as they also have their human rights.
The violation of Birth Control, from a humanitarian angle, can be described as unethical. According United Nation, birth control is classified as an essential and crucial human right. Based on their elaboration, which I strongly support, female adolescents and women’s lives are assured of improvement if allowed to access birth control healthcare (Brownstein & Amar, 2012). This annunciation by the UN clearly depicts that women have a right to their reproductive freedom globally that is further reinforced by it being a civic and human right. Birth control has been legalized in America since 1965 with an estimated 99% of the total adult female population using it (Brownstein & Amar, 2012). According to the report released by the Center of Disease Control (CDC), female contraception methods are considered as one of the major medical achievements attained despite the challenges that have been faced in ensuring that it is widely accepted. Institutions aforementioned are the few, which have filed suits against the Obamacare directive, which states that employers should provide healthcare coverage for their employees that is also inclusive of access of birth control methods.
The compromise made by the president further elaborates that Wheaton College and other religious based institutions and establishment that acted against the ruling were legally and theologically ethical (Brownstein & Amar, 2012). Owing to the fact the only churches and places of worship were exempted from this healthcare Act, a compromise would be made in order to allow for inclusion of religiously based institutions such as universities and hospitals (Brownstein & Amar, 2012). Therefore, in 2012, President Obama announced that in order to accommodate religiously affiliated institutions, the insurers were charged with the responsibility of meeting birth control costs as opposed to such employers making the provisions of the same. There was also exemption of employers that created grandfathered healthcare plans for their workforce.
Brownstein, A. & Amar, V. (2012). The Right Way to Accommodate Religious Objections to the Contraception Coverage Mandate. Verdict.justia.com. Retrieved 23 September 2016, from https://verdict.justia.com/2012/02/16/the-right-way-to-accommodate-religious-objections-to-the-contraception-coverage-mandate
Communications, U. (2016). Court: Contraception mandate violates employers’ religious freedom – The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 23 September 2016, from http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/court-contraception-mandate-violates-employers-religious-freedom
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