Catholic Church prince Cardinal Dolan, and his homies in the conservative US Conference of Catholic bishops, are mighty pissed about the HHS birth control mandate which allows insurance companies to cover contraception costs for employees and students at Catholic colleges. (GOP fraying of the social safety net, not so much) Fox & Friends seems to be his personal fiefdom in that good Catholic Steve Doocy and uber Catholic Knight of Malta, Peter Johnson Jr, have provided extensive and biased support for the bishops HHS policy position - a position which Fox uses to cultivate Catholic support for the GOP by bashing Obama who is, according to Fox and the bishops, waging a "war on religious liberty." Franciscan University, a very conservative, *anti-reproductive rights Catholic school, just announced that it will drop health care for students rather than have birth control, which it currently doesn't provide, covered in its policy. Fox culture clubber Todd Starnes first reported it and tweeted a "praise be to God for believers who will not compromise." Not surprisingly, the Cardinal Dolan's very own morning show and Roger Ailes' very own acolyte, Steve Doocy is reporting on it. Not surprisingly the coverage continues to be biased and, in one case, just wrong. But definitely a get out of Purgatory free and go directly to heaven card for Doocy!
A visibly distraught Steve Doocy reported that Catholic Franciscan University says it's being "forced" to end health care coverage for students because of the "morally repugnant" HHS birth control mandate. (Reality Check - the school is not being "forced." They are doing it because they disagree with the administration's policy.) After introducing his guest, Michael Hernon, Franciscan University VP Advancement Doocy mangled explained the administration's contraception mandate: He claimed that "everybody has got to provide, except Catholic Church, has to provide contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion causing drugs on their health care plans."
Fact Check - 1) The mandate, which exempted ALL religious institutions that were primarily for the advancement of religion, now has compromise language which requires that the insurance companies cover the cost of birth control. 2) The HHS mandate DOES NOT cover abortion inducing drugs such as RU 486. It does cover emergency contraception which prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg which is, according to the medical community and non-Catholic faith communities, when the pregnancy begins. Hence, no abortion except for the Catholic Church which claims that pregnancy begins at the moment of conception.
As the chyron read "Keeping the Faith" noted that Franciscan is a "passionately Catholic university" and this "order" goes against their "deeply held moral and religious beliefs." The chyron was laughable in the irony that this crusade adversely affects women: "Prescription for Health." He asserted that the school will fight this "attack on First Amendment freedoms." (Who cares about "equal treatment" under the law when it comes to ladyparts!) Steve said that "this makes perfect sense" and asked how "you can teach one thing and turn around and do something completely different." As the agitprop chyron read "Just Say No to Obamacare Univ: Health Care Violates the Church," Hernon claimed that the policy is "unconscionable" that the government "would compel us to do something against our religious beliefs." More anti-Obama Fox agitprop with this chyron: "Hope and Change, Catholic University Drops Student Health Insurance." At Doocy's prompting, Hernon discussed how the mandate is moral and economic injustice because it increases costs. He said that students are very supportive of the school which is advising them to find their own health care which is what the government is "compelling them to do."
Obviously, female Franciscan students are pure and virginal. But if they need care for their lady parts, other than birth control, they might not be able to afford a private physician and thus, might need the services of Planned Parenthood which the GOP is trying to shut down. Kind of ironic. But it's their right to prioritize Catholic dogma over women's health. Nice to know that Fox News is right their in their corner.
*Franciscan is proud of its "submission to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church." It offers a "Human Life Studies" minor. It participates in organized anti-abortion activity, including the arrest of a past president who attempted to block access to an abortion clinic. It is connected to international anti-abortion activities. And guess who is an alumnus - none other than Fox News' only religious spokesperson - drum roll please - Fr. Jonathan Morris!
What’s truly funny about the whole “pregnancy begins at the moment of conception” deal is that it has NO biblical precedent. Most women of the era (aside from the “lucky few” who got a “special visit” from God or some angel telling them they would get “with child”) didn’t even know they were expecting until their midsections started expanding outward. Hell, until just a couple hundred years ago, the official Church teaching was that there was no “conception” as we understand it. The Church believed that the man’s “seed” was planted inside the woman (the prevailing theory was that each sperm was actually a fully-formed little human being that needed to be inside a woman’s body to get bigger).
If it weren’t for science, the whole anti-abortion movement (which otherwise seems to frown on anything science) would have a hard time justifying their position.