Ultimately, Americans want the freedom to make personal health decisions on their own, without the various institutions around us.
A 20-year-old cancer foundation and a 2,000-year-old church have taken issue with twin cornerstones of women's health in this country. It's time both organizations take a lesson from the way medical professionals put our own personal views aside to deliver care. Health care is not a venue in which to exert your desire to shape the content of people's lives. Health is the default condition we need to make those choices. Life choices must be made freely, all major religions, and all legitimate political ideologies agree.
When Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced it would disqualify Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screening programs from future grants, its decision was driven by Komen leaders who couldn't abide family planning. Though the Komen foundation's millions derive from the importance and popularity of its primary mission to end breast cancer, the organization compromised this mission in subservience to a baser mission: fulfilling the ideology of a few, even if it meant loss of health for many.
When the Roman Catholic Church, employer of many non-Catholics, learned that the nation's new health care law meant its hospitals, universities, and other civic institutions must provide complete health insurance coverage, outrage spewed forth, our second national conflagration over health and values in as many weeks. Mind you, many otherwise solid American Catholics use contraception despite what their church says on the issue. Still, the thought that Catholic hospitals and universities would end up facilitating family planning in their health plans seems a step too far for Catholic leaders and the political demagogues playing to them.