BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Contraception controversy. A showdown between the White House and the Catholic Church is heating up over the president’s mandate to make birth control free.

Andrea Fujii has reaction to the controversial rule.

Churches would be exempt from that rule but religious schools, charities and hospitals wouldn’t. And that’s got Catholic leaders fighting back.

A battle over birth control. The Catholic Church is firing back at the White House calling the president’s plan to require church-affiliated organizations to provide contraception coverage to employees an attack on religious freedom.

Maryland Republican Congressman Andy Harris tells WJZ he hopes the White House backtracks.

“The indication from the White House over the last few days was that the president is digging in on this. I hope that’s not true,” Harris said.

Supporters say the rule is not about religion; it’s about wellness.

“This is an issue of women’s health and I think Catholic charities believe very deeply that women get the health care they need,” Kathleen Kennedy Townsend of the nonprofit Catholic Democrats said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 99 percent of sexually-active women use birth control, including 98 percent of Catholic women.

Baltimore Cardinal Edwin O’Brien threatens to drop health coverage for 3,500 diocese employees saying, “We cannot, we will not, comply with the unjust law.”

WJZ talked to parishioners at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where there seemed to be a divide.

“I don’t think it’s right. I don’t think anyone should tell anyone else that they can’t do something. It’s a free country,” Christine Collins said.

“When I grew up, as a child I learned something– a term called reverence for life,” another parishioner said.

Many are now hoping for a compromise as the battle brews.

Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden indicated the White House may also be looking for a compromise on the rule.

Also on Thursday, worldwide Catholic broadcasting network EWTN filed a lawsuit against the White House over the policy.

Comments (16)
  1. Frank Burns says:

    My own religious conviction is that God punishes us with disease and rewards us with good health, and that it is a sin to ever try to intervene in his will medically.
    I’m therefore stripping practically everything out of my employees’ policies. If I can’t, I won’t be able to sleep nights, because I would have a guilty conscience imagining to what unnatural ends they might choose to apply their insurance, and of course I can’t be stopped from stripping out those policies, because my Republican friends are backing me on this, since it is a matter of my own religious freedom.
    Plus, I save a lot on the health premiums I pay to cover my work force, since their pay package basically only includes chiropractic care and homeopathy, which don’t offend my religious scruples because I deem them entirely ineffective.

  2. Terrance says:

    WJZ-13, Why are you schmucks not posting people’s blogs on this board? We do have freedom of speec Communist Broadcast System (CBS).

  3. Steve Wilson says:

    Terrance, if you think this is bad, check out WBFF’s Web Poll. Time after time their question is Right-wing weighted and there is no way to actually vote. However, leaving a comment is counted as agreeing with their Right-wing slant. Oh, BTW, they stopped posting the actual comments about a year ago. Makes me wonder just how many people disagreed with WBFF.

    As for the current question, I’d like to know why it is always the Catholic Church that is involved in influencing government policies. A church that is controlled by a foreign government. A church that actively helped the Nazis both during and after the war but still gets favored treatment by our government at all levels. If I think the Catholic Church’s actions have been immoral and their protection of child molesting priests is immoral, then our government should remove all special privileges, including tax breaks from them.

    in what is not a religious question. If Catholic employees do not want to use contraception, they don’t have too. If the the Catholics

    1. The Grump says:

      “If I think the Catholic Church’s actions have been immoral,… then our government should remove all special privileges, including tax breaks from them”

      Spoken like a true liberal nazi. Love Obama, do you ? If Obama wasn’t so busy trampling Constitional rights, like freedon of religion, you wouldn’t care. But Obama is using the Constitution as toilet paper, so you must defend your one true love, Obama. Makes me sick.

      Look, you don’t go to a strip club to hear a sermon or save your soul, so why would you except contraception from a Catholic ANYTHING ? This is Obama on a power grab – Obama wants to be EVERYONE’S God, whom you pray to for all the blessings of Government. He is a jealous God, and will have no other Gods before him. Good thing he IS human, and will die eventually – limiting the damage he can do to one lifetime.

  4. outkasts says:

    The Devil is in the church!

    1. The Grump says:

      The devil is in all of us. Do we buy a salad or a Big Mac and fries ? Do we automatically check (D) when voting, or do we do the right thing, and vote (R)? We voted (D), and we got O’Malley. Now we are paying for our “sins” and will pay more if he gets his way. Next time, do the right thing, and vote (R). The angel on your right shoulder will be pleased.

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