Erroneous assumptions illustrated by editorial

Sean Murphy*

In an editorial titled, “Birth Control: Now a human right,” the Charleston Gazette has expressed support for the Obama administrations regulation that will force objecting employers to provide insurance coverage for “contraceptive services.”  The editorial illustrates five common unexamined and questionable assumptions frequently made by opponents of freedom of conscience in health care.

  • First: it assumes that ‘birth control’ and ‘contraception’ are equivalent terms; they are not.
  • Second: it assumes that contraception is a form a health care, something that many objectors deny.
  • Third: in failing to recognize the distinction that objectors make between contraception and treating illness or injury, it draws the erroneous conclusion that they might refuse to treat sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Fourth: it asserts that birth control (by which it clearly means contraception) is a “human right,” although this has not been legally established.
  • Finally: it suggests that employers who do not pay for employees’ birth control are interfering with their freedom.


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