Contraception Debate: religious liberty or women's rights?
Rabbi Steve Burg and Grace Marie Turner discuss the birth control
- Duration 11:02
- Date Mar 2, 2012
Rabbi Steve Burg and Grace Marie Turner discuss the birth control
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This transcript is automatically generated
I was just telling one of my next guest that I haven't have dismissed conversation about contraception since that was the topic and my eight -- sex class.
But it is our hot issue right now -- hot button issue on Capitol Hill and reverberating across the country.
Joining me now via satellite from DC is -- -- I turner didn't -- and -- -- the camera.
Are you are you with us -- Marie turner.
OK she's the founder and president trustee of Galen institute incorporated.
And on set with me here.
Is orthodox Jewish congregations of America.
The union of that it's managing director.
Rabbi Steve -- good to have you here this morning morning I wanna make sure that we have the audio OK with grace.
Yes I'm so sorry I didn't know we were alive no no worries and as I mean all the time I think it's helpful if I'm I'm actually on that when it happened.
But look I wanna start the conversation off with just what's happened most recently -- there was.
-- -- -- -- An acknowledgment by the White House acknowledgment by the president that maybe this bill that was dealing with who should pay for birth control insurance wise needed to be.
Looked at again and have some accommodation made Chris I want to ask you about that accommodation and whether you thought it was enough.
Well -- see it Catholic bishops 180.
Bishop said that it is no accommodation at all but basically the president said.
We're going to put the rule in place that report says people.
Employers and health plans to cover products and services that they fundamentally object to.
And then down the road at some point.
Will promise you that we will fix that and the bishop said.
No deal that is absolutely not gonna work this is an issue religious freedom not an issue of access to free birth control all right.
I wanted to interject if I can with the tweet that's just cross my Twitter page from what our guest here on a regular basis David Webb.
-- who's watching right now hi David this is Perez.
It's not contraception.
It is the First Amendment stop getting into the wrong argument the -- -- -- Dallas morning and I said why are we still talking about contraception.
All into the next week and you said to me.
I agree it's it's First Amendment as soon religious issues it's the the ability of the government to kind of break up and define.
Who these institutions are on the one hand if your church and the -- -- -- exempt from the beginning you're okay.
But if your university if your hospital your social service organization.
Then you're not religious enough and you know you're on a separate category and quite frankly we had that issue you know who's who gives the government the right to start picking and choosing.
Who is really is enough to be covered by this or not.
Talk a little bit about the mandate and now about senator wants bill if you would please and and where you fall in the religious community.
We supported we supported the bill.
The bill went a little further even have lined -- the -- -- If further we -- expected it it was really focus on individuals.
Our concern is much more institutional.
But -- -- FL and and we come back to this definition of which institutions are covered or not.
It's just we feel and again.
Being a rabbi from passengers legend we have a different perspective and -- Catholics on this.
But the religious community has united.
To say that this is First Amendment and this is slippery slope and you know for our community from you know for synagogues to say to synagogues have one.
You know set of laws but you're -- schools and we have hundreds of pride days -- Jewish schools cross country you're now separate in separate categories.
That's a slippery slope and it's dangerous to us.
You know I hope it's okay that I I wanna share this and if you'll indulge me.
You said that you had a conversation recently with somebody from the West Coast and that you guys -- united tell me about stuff.
-- -- is a surreal conversation.
Where we got a call you know you may have recalled back in San Francisco there was a push.
To ban circumcision.
-- -- crosses a real issue and really reach out to Catholics and they supported us who we recently got a call and they said look.
We had your back on circumcision you need to back -- up a company out of diapers yeah and that is.
-- almost surreal weird conversation I've ever been a part of but the bottom line is this whether the condescension or circumcision the -- -- -- needs to unite and make sure this country is an amazing country because of the separation of church and state and we need to guard.
And Chris it shouldn't even be talking about this issue on Capitol Hill is this -- Capitol Hill issue.
This absolutely is not.
This birth control pills cost nine dollars a month this is not a bit of an issue that is -- trampling on the constitution for.
Someone is -- that I think that and they're really right this is no more about contraception.
Then the American revolution was about to heat.
About the fundamental.
Issues of religious liberty and -- -- Catholic Church exercise its First Amendment right.
To provide or not provide services.
That fit what that's saying.
That's really the issue it's a fundamental issue of religious liberty and they've.
Tried to co opted and the saying I don't know this is an issue about whether or not you have access to free birth control.
Not a constitutional issue.
-- you know I know with the other Galen institute you look at policy issues all the time.
-- and GB put back in the bottle I mean what -- White House have to do now because the White House cannot ignore this issue and you say.
That they won the first round but now there's more to come the White House.
Well because the American people Janet.
There has that there's a YouTube video with the congresswoman Kathy -- -- In New York in which she is basically trying to turn this into an issue about free access to birth control pills.
And the questioners can -- audience say no this is about a fundamental issues of religious liberty and to the rabbis point.
Other religious leaders from all denominations.
Have sent a letter to President Obama saying.
This can't stand to because they know.
That they could be next what are their values and religious beliefs that the government then could come minutes they know.
We know how best to your religious liberties and values.
Are not worth than you think that's a fundamentalist in this is gonna go to the courts to do justice they obamacare individual mandate is going to be before the courts though.
Boosting interest -- -- couple things on the live chat right now Bobby Hawkins as saying a hospital or church or not the same.
Unlike Twitter page -- jury says it's a ninth and then at issue.
It's a person's liberty not a state enforced right it's up to the person not the Fed's.
How far do you think this conversation is going to -- you just -- -- saying that it's getting up in the courts.
Just like the mandate portion the the health care bill that the president.
Administration have gotten past what are your thoughts.
I I actually like -- a lot of -- said and I agree with what that fell to set on Twitter.
Meeting this individual rights yes that when -- helps everyone should have this option but to force -- religious folks to go against the conditions that's the real issue at hand.
What what's really surreal about this and we are talking about this before is the kind of cloak and women's health we -- for women's health absolutely were Falwell was.
Heard anybody say that there against women's health a quick thing here against toothpaste is being.
-- -- -- Everybody of course people for the help of another individual and that's you know is -- people kind of hiding -- well you know you must not care about women.
If you're against this that's not -- so we -- four.
The first -- -- member of the clergy is messaging is so important in your profession I would imagine you do you handle on all sorts of edges of emotional and and whenever -- -- how you word things is so special.
Which side is getting the wording right or wrong here Republicans or Democrats and I -- to make it make a choice like that but it matters and -- sense because that's kind of where we are.
Well -- is a -- in America -- what really really troubles me about this is that if this were not an election year.
Then I -- not so sure all this would be happening the way it's happening.
And I'm very worried that an election year the First Amendment is being dragged out and kind of pulled apart.
Write -- our country is is based on First Amendment right we have -- -- guard against these things and the back and forth has everything to do with an election year and that's what scares me because we get on a slippery slope.
-- also in the First Amendment.
Is involved in the Tug of war -- and as I said you know you know as a rabbi is personally counsels people.
You have a conversations with some in terms of what their needs are.
Those -- their needs these are much bigger policy issues and we have to guard against this country because we look compared.
And we Pryor's of -- to -- America that they are very careful about these separations and to see kind of he'll put back together right in the -- and that's just that's a problem for us and we're nervous about and I am I get it again.
Very nervous about this being election year and therefore everyone point on it.
All right thank you for that last word great so wanna give you -- last word -- What are you picking up the phone and and may be talking with the president about -- -- heard the rabbi saying that the archdiocese of San Francisco and I wanna get that right they reached out to him.
I mean how far does this need to get do you see an institute like yourself do you see someone.
Coalition of of rabbi and clergy may be reaching out to the president.
Well what I worry is that this has really become a political issue this is no longer an issue about really the First Amendment is an issue about.
Trying to get the women's vote and try to confuse the debate to say that Republicans are against birth control and that is nothing is further from the truth.
But they are in favor of the First Amendment religious liberties and -- the Catholic Church which by the way Catholic hospitals treat.
One out of every six patients in America you -- say they will absolutely either close their doors or stop offering health and -- together.
If they're forced to comply with this mandates so this is gonna go on and on this is not over yet is true I did not have that statistic.
Big Catholic hospitals treat one in six.
And that's going to -- -- of the talk about a lot of charities Catholic universities.
All of the other institutions that serve people of many different -- What would also be subject to this mandate with which they can't comply and the -- -- a hundred dollars a day for every am planning a lot of -- that doesn't have these this coverage can't -- Grace very turner founder president and -- -- Galen institute incorporated could have is part of conversation this morning rabbi Steve word and managing director of the union of orthodox Jewish congregations of America.
Wonderful to have you I have to say I've never had anybody.
-- within the clergy community action say anybody that's very few.
Who will take -- a political question like this it's one that really hits you in the heart and I know you feel strongly about it let's check back with each -- is the issue goes on thank you -- of.