The real issue is religious freedom

To the Editor:

National media have painted a picture of women losing access to birth control, abortion and sterilization. This is simply not the case. All of these remain legal and available.

These are not the real issues. Religious freedom is. The constitution guarantees that government will not establish a national religion and also that government will not prohibit the free exercise of one’s religious convictions. The Catholic Church and many others are opposed to abortion.

The new Health and Human Services mandate (part of ObamaCare) states that even people of religious conviction who oppose these and operate a business, hospital, or school will have to provide insurance for their employees to get free birth control and dangerous abortion-inducing medications. If they do not they will pay exorbitant fines. This could diminish hiring, reduce services and possibly close businesses, hospitals and colleges. Did you know that one out of six hospitals in our country is run by a Catholic charity, including our own St. Gabriel’s?

The real issue is religious freedom. We who hold these convictions don’t want to pay for something that violates our conscience and is available elsewhere. We just want to live true to our beliefs without government oppression. — Mary Ellen Ronzheimer, Little Falls