With contraceptives, Obamacare runs into issues of religious liberty

With contraceptives, Obamacare runs into issues of religious liberty

EUGENE, Ore. - In American, 99 percent of sexually active women have used a form of contraception at some point in their lives.

"Birth control has so many positive effects, and it is the only thing known to prevent ovarian cancer," Dr. Deb Dotters of Planned Parenthood said of the pill, a popular form of birth control.

A recent Centers for Disease Control study found more than 82 percent of adult women had used the pill.

Under the Affordable Care Act - sometimes called Obamacare by critics and supporters alike - employers have to provide insurance that covers birth control pills and other contraceptives.

"It's huge for women to be able to control their reproductive futures so they can go to college, so they can plan pregnancy, so they can plan pregnancy when they want it," Dotters said.

The requirement isn't without controversy. Birth control remains a hot button issue here at St. Alice Catholic Church and at countless churches and religious-affiliated employers across the nation.

Notre Dame University sued the Obama administration on Tuesday, arguing that paying for contraceptives goes against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

"To pay for it, for somebody else, is to ask them to participate in that indirectly," said Father David Jaspers at St. Alice.

The church believes contraception and sterlization for pregnancy prevention alone is morally wrong.

And if a person is having sex outside of marriage "and they know my acne medicine will keep from getting pregnant, then they're sinning twice," Jaspers said.

Jaspers said requiring employers to pay for contraception goes against religous freedom. He also said a lot of folks just don't understand the church's stance on contraception.

"It's not something you can learn from sound bites," he said. "You have to study it."

The Obama administration counters that the requirement imposes little burden on employers.