idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The law makes it illegal to DENY women contraception, it does not mean you have to provide it. That's a large difference.
Huh? Isn't refusing to provide contraception the same as denying it?
The point here is that as a health care provider (like a hospital), you cannot be on the list of providers which insurance carriers can pay out to unless you provide contraception. You have no choice. And since all insurers must follow those same rules, and all employers must provide insurance from that set of insurers, and anyone who doesn't have insurance will be provided it by the government, and anyone who doesn't buy insurance voluntarily must pay a fine to pay into that insurance system, it effectively means that the government has made it impossible for a hospital, clinic, or pharmacy to be in business if they don't provide contraception (among a host of services, but this is the one currently relevant to the religious issue).
If you are a religious institution, even that is an exemption--those women are able to get contraceptives directly from the insurance company instead.
But the religious institution (here we're talking about being an employer and not a health care provider), is not exempt from the requirement to provide insurance (or their employees from obtaining it if they do not). And since the insurance company must provide contraceptive care, even if none of the religious employees use the service, they are still paying for it.
Honestly, it's a much bigger problem with the law than just the religious angle. As I said earlier, that's just the most obvious case. The whole set of mandates creates a massive intrusion into people's free choices.