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Disregard disregarding the mandate

Collier O'Connor | Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jessica Carney, Ken Fowler and others,

In an age where it seems our nation’s youth has generally become apathetic about politics, I applaud the efforts that you have made to understand the political arena of our nation. I especially applaud the enthusiasm in which you take on such a controversial piece of legislation which affects issues (i.e. abortion) close to the hearts of Catholics. I applaud you even more (and slightly louder) for wanting to take action for something you so strongly believe in, religious freedom and following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., a pioneer in positive change.

I can only assume that your call for civil disobedience echoes your attitudes that no one (or more than one) person should be discriminated against, and you believe that the Affordable Care Act discriminates against your religion. Again, applause.

However, I believe that anything short of providing comprehensive health care for women, who have been one of the most discriminated against groups in health care and who suffer from an increasing disparity in health care quality, according to a recent AHRQ (Agency for Health Care Research and Quality) study, is “literally unconscionable.”

Fact 1: According to Guttmacher Institute research, 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women use contraception.

Fact 2: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, more than in any other developed nation.

Fact 3: According to the New York Times, nearly a third of women who stop using birth control do so because of changes in insurance coverage.

This bill is not an attack against religious freedom like many Catholic and pro-choice leaders wish you to believe. (There are a growing number of Catholic leaders, Catholics for Choice, who disagree with the far-right Catholics.) This is a bill that grants freedom, equality and power to women and is both reasonable and for the common good. This bill represents the biggest gains feminism has seen since the 1970s.

I call upon all Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s women (and all the men, too) to disregard disregarding the mandate.

Long Live Roe.

Collier O’Connor

junior

off-campus

Jan. 26