Carol Keehan

Unholy Alliance
February 22, 2012

When the Obama administration decided that birth control coverage would be mandatory for all insurance policies, even those provided to employees by large religious institutions, the outcry from Catholic leaders and social conservatives surprised a lot of people. But conflicts between health care and religion, particularly Catholicism, are not news in many parts of the country. Just ask physicians in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Sierra Vista is a rural community about 80 miles southeast of Tucson and about 20 miles north of the Mexican border.

What Backlash? Obama Birth Control Policy Looks Popular
February 15, 2012

Source: CBS/New York Times  The big Catholic backlash against President Obama looks like a big nothing, at least for the moment. A new poll from Gallup shows that, among Catholic voters responding to survey, the president’s approval rating is 46 percent – down 3 percentage points from where it was last week, but not a statistically significant change given the size of the poll. It’s possible Obama’s numbers among Catholics will deteriorate more next week.

Religious Institutions Matter. So Do Their Employees.
February 08, 2012

If you think the controversy over birth control and health insurance is simple, you probably haven't spent enough time hearing out the other side. I happen to support the administration's decision to make contraception coverage mandatory, limiting the rule's "conscience" exemption to churches and institutions that primarily employ co-religionists. But I also think the critics make some valid points. Chief among them: Freedom of religion means the freedom to observe the tenets of one's faith.

March 17, 2010

Washington—One of the tragedies of the viciously politicized battle over health care reform is the defection of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops from a cause they have championed for decades. Indifferent to political fashions, the bishops were the strongest voices in support of universal health coverage, a position rooted in Catholic social thought that calls for a special solicitude toward the poor. Yet on the make-or-break roll call that will determine the fate of health care reform, bishops are urging that the bill be voted down.