Ever since we watched Sister Act, we’ve thought nuns were pretty darn amazing. After hearing the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN for short) are in support of the Affordable Care Act providing contraception coverage to all women, we’re even more impressed. The NCAN wrote a petition (you can sign it here) addressed to the U.S. Supreme Court about employer policies that deny female employees birth control and other contraceptive coverage. The nuns want all women to have access to
Sister Donna Quinn, head of NCAN, told Religion Dispatches: “This has gotten out of hand. It isn’t ‘faith and freedom’ when reproductive autonomy isn’t extended by the Catholic Church to women.” In the NCAN petition, the nuns state: “We want to make clear that the sin is not a person using birth control. The sin is denying women the right and the means to plan their families.” What a powerful statement. Is it seem contradictory for nuns to support contraception? They don’t believe so.
“Indeed, it is precisely because life is sacred that we support the intentional and moral use of contraception. We know that religious freedom means that each person has the right to exercise their own religious beliefs; religious freedom cannot mean that an individual or a corporation gets to impose their religious beliefs on their employees,” the NCAN petition explains.
Reverend Debra Haffner of the Religious Institute expands on the petition statement. “All too often, the media only shows a Catholic bishop to offer the faith perspective. More than 14 major religious denominations have statements supporting birth control and birth control access. People need to understand that this is not only an affront to women’s moral agency but opens the door to denying a whole range of services, from other kinds of reproductive health care to services to LGBT people,” she explains.
We are so impressed by the nuns’ initiative — and we think The Sound of Music’s Maria Von Trapp would add this groundbreaking contraception coverage understanding to her list of “My Favorite Things.”
Are you surprised the National Coalition of American Nuns started a petition for contraceptive coverage?