Alvare: Religious Freedom and Civil Rights in Business

In an opinion column in USA Today, Professor Helen Alvaré argues that the Obama administration says it can ignore religious freedom laws when regulating businesses and their owners because it believes earning money is inconsistent with exercising religion.

"The White House stance assumes that women care far more about free access to contraceptives, or their sex lives, than about religious freedom, or allowing businesses to have a conscience," Alvaré writes. "This view of women is degrading. It treats women as one-dimensional victims needing the protection of government-as-big-brother."

"Women do not need big brother steamrolling religious liberty to make their lives better," says Alvaré. "They would prefer to hold onto religious liberty itself."

Women care about religious freedom and civil rights in business, USA Today, December 2, 2013. By Helen Alvaré. 

"The White House insists that its heavy-handed approach is needed to protect women because it thinks contraceptives are 'essential to women's health.' That is, to say the least, a highly dubious claim. Women get sick and die, for the most part, of things like heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Their long list of ailments rarely calls for free contraceptives to solve a health problem. In fact, as Judge Janice Rogers Brown recently noted, there are credible medical sources (like the World Health Organization) who now classify some hormonal contraceptives as carcinogens. Americans spend millions of dollars a year to buy chicken and meat that have not been pumped full of synthetic hormones-precisely because they fear the associated medical risks."

Read the article