What? Plus does anyone still read TIME?
There was lots of excitable talk last week about birth control, with President Obama dialing back his initial plan for mandating contraceptive coverage to exempt employers who object to such coverage on religious grounds. In those cases, the health-insurance provider, rather than the employer, will be on the hook to pay for the services. Tellingly, health-insurance companies seem quite happy with this compromise, knowing, as they do, that paying for contraceptives is a lot less costly than paying for pregnancies and neonatal care. [...]
The cost of living in a democracy is tolerating moral judgments we don’t always like. For those who object, there’s a clear alternative. Protesting the Mexican-American War in the 1840s, Henry David Thoreau withheld his taxes with the understanding that he would have to go to jail for his principles. In reality, he only served one night in jail, but he was willing to pay the price for his convictions. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela paid a much higher price for theirs.
Let’s see what our society would look like if we all had the luxury of imposing our unfettered will. At a minimum, the Catholic bishops and employers resisting contraceptive coverage should be willing to pay for the care of all those unwanted children. Or perhaps they’d be willing to spend some time in jail in protest. At my taxpaying expense, of course.