Chaos won't ensue if employers can act on conscientious objections -- in fact, they shouldn't be providing employees' insurance in the first place.
Jon Stewart thinks "chaos" would ensue if employers with a moral objection to birth control were exempted from the federal requirement to provide contraceptive insurance coverage to their employees. Watch his commentary, which comes near the end of the clip above, or read this transcript:
BOB SCHEIFFER: Senator Blunt from Missouri, one of your Republican colleagues, he wants a law that would allow anyone who has a moral objection to this to not have to pay for birth control pills. Would you be willing to push that in the Senate?
MITCH MCCONNELL: Of course I'd be happy to support it, and intend to support it.
JON STEWART: Really? Because you know what that would be? Fucking chaos, you realize that, right? That's chaos. (mocking tone) All right, I'm a Christian scientist. I don't have to provide any health care. I don't believe in it. It's all up to your boss. I work for the new head football coach at the high school. I got my new health care plan, and it just says, 'Walk it off, you pussy!'
You can't just decide on your own. We're either in a society or we're not in a society.
His incredulity bespeaks a faulty memory -- and a lack of imagination.
Prior to the federal mandate that employers provide contraceptive care there was not, in fact, "fucking chaos," and Americans did regard themselves as living in a society. It's clear why people like Stewart value the universal provision of contraceptive care. But the conceit that the federal government must either mandate that some employers engage in behavior that violates their conscience or face chaos is alarmist nonsense. Before Obama's heath-care overhaul, there were 50 different approaches to insurance coverage mandates, many of which left employers alone and focused on what insurers had to cover. Pro-contraception activists argue that the old system -- which governed a non-chaotic society -- did an inadequate job affording access to contraception.