In his recent op-ed ("Religious freedom under threat at home," June 16), Archbishop William E. Lori makes reference to the erosion of religious freedom. But I would ask his excellency to speak plainly: the threat to religious freedom to which he alludes is the Department of Health and Human Services mandate that Catholic-run hospitals, schools and charities provide family planning services to their employees. The employees themselves do not have to be Catholic to work in these institutions, nor is their mission primarily religious, but the archbishop wishes to use religious "freedom" to constrain their choices as to what type of health care they can receive.
The archbishop recognizes that faith promotes "the common good." Excellent! Development studies have shown for decades that women who have access to contraception and other family planning methods can space the births of their children and devote more resources to the well-being of each one. Fewer children means more education for girls and greater economic and social stability for the country. What clearer common good could there be?
Eighty-two percent of Catholics in the United States don't believe that birth control is morally wrong, but if it violates the "deeply held beliefs" of any employee, they have the religious freedom not to use it.
Elizabeth L. Chalecki, TowsonCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun