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Louisiana College’s Stunningly Stupid Lawsuit

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Yesterday, Louisiana College filed suit against the federal government, seeking to prevent the government from enforcing a policy that mandates insurance companies to provide for birth control and contraception medication.

I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty debate. Suffice it to say, I think the Obama Administration struck a fair compromise on this issue, allowing religious institutions the flexibility to maintain their own autonomy while, at the same time, ensuring that vitally important contraceptive coverage is still guaranteed for those women in need, including the nearly 98% of Catholic women who use or have used birth control.

For Louisiana College, in my opinion, this is nothing more than an attempt to grab at the headlines. And truth be told: I’d be cool with Louisiana College’s lawsuit about this if they weren’t the beneficiary of tens of millions of dollars in public subsidization, mostly tax-free. They are, essentially, suing the federal government for requiring that someone else (their insurance provider) pay for birth control for their female employees, because Joe Aguillard and the Dean of their new law school– whatever his name is– don’t want to pay, even indirectly, for birth control. This has nothing to do with abortion, got that? Nothing.

Two men telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, pathetically acting like their beliefs are being assailed, both full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

To them, I’d say: I have a religious and moral objection to having my tax dollars subsidize your institution. To them, I’d say: There are much worse things than knowing that your money may possibly help someone get birth control. For example, there could be rumors about people engaging in behavior that contradicts Levitical law. But who knows if this is true, right? It’d simply be dangerous, scandalous, disastrous rumors involving someone’s personal life, and after all, that should be beyond the pale.

Yet if LC has to pay, even indirectly (through a private insurer), for someone’s birth control pills, then the administration wants to know about the personal lives of their employees. Apparently, they’re really worried that their female employees could, secretly, be exploiting their own insurance policies to abort babies. (After all, that’s what birth control coverage is about, right? It means aborting babies, right?).

The simplest explanation is this: Louisiana College wants a headline. We’re going to give it to them. They want to be culture warriors. They want to raise money for their ill-begotten law school. That also may happen. They may raise a few bucks off of this ploy.

I recognize that my contribution is indirect, but nonetheless, it exists. So, until you refuse to accept my money and the public’s money to help keep your institution afloat, you can either feign righteous indignation OR you can begin to actually pay proper taxes, like the rest of us, and contribute to the very system from which you disproportionately benefit.

And to the City of Shreveport, Louisiana, to Mayor Cedric Glover: If you are giving Louisiana College a single penny to help them launch their “law” school, then the people of Shreveport need to know that you’re handing their money to these people– politicized cultural “warriors,” zealots who think their religion somehow makes them above the law– because, somehow, they are more “moral.”

I have an ax to grind, to be sure. My grandfather, a medical doctor who is currently a resident of an assisted living facility in Alexandria, helped to invent the birth control pill, when he was a researcher in Michigan during the 1950s. He didn’t make a dime off of it, and I have nothing to gain either by speaking out. But Joe Aguillard and Louisiana College, they’ve been the beneficiaries of taxpayer money for years and years.

To Mayor Glover: With all due respect, drop the funding. I realize it may be difficult (I doubt Governor Jindal has the courage), but if LC is as earnest and as righteous as it claims to be, it can surely survive without being paid by people who are morally opposed to its mission. At the very least, Mayor Glover, you’d force LC to be consistent. And man, that would be awesome.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is exactly why employment and health insurance should be separate. Why should any employer have a say in your health decisions? We need universal health care in this country, and this is a perfect example of one of many reasons why.

    February 21, 2012
    • Barbara Lachney #

      Exactly. I wholeheartedly agree.

      February 22, 2012
  2. Barbara Lachney #

    I have often referred to Louisiana College as the local incarnation of the Taliban. I was joking, for the most part. But with this latest gambit which includes Aguillard, et.al reaching into the private decisions (dare I say, the uterus’) of its female employees, the only thing I can see coming next is the requirement of the wearing of the black wool robes and head-coverings. You know–those pesky women. Things just haven’t been the same since you ‘allowed’ them to put on shoes and not get pregnant! Mr. Aguillard, will you also file suit to disallow the insurance coverage of the “magic blue pill” for men?
    Quite frankly, I don’t give a rat’s derrier what LC wants their insurance coverage to do AS LONG as LC REFUSES any and ALL public funding, grants, gifts-in-kind etc/ And while we are at it, if LC continues to accept public monies, then their tax structure needs to be readdressed.

    February 22, 2012
  3. GJ #

    does anybody not realize that Louisiana College is a Baptist college, and a private one at that? If you don’t like what you’re employer is doing, find employment elsewhere. When you sign on to be an employee of LC, it’s well known what they expect. LC is stlil a private college, no matter what amount of supposed “public money” they receive. Sorry.

    February 22, 2012
  4. Kermit #

    I doubt that the issue of birth control ever crossed Joe’s mind before this was a national issue. Considering how crappy LC’s employee insurance is, they’ve probably never covered birth control in the first place.

    March 10, 2012
  5. Learnit #

    LC is filing a lawsuit against only pills that work AFTER conception. The school states that no insurance contradicts their faith, so by accepting the policy, the school will show inconsistency with it’s faith. Because it is a Christian college, the institution has full reason to follow it’s beliefs by fighting for all human life from conception to natural death. This isn’t about birth control pills, it’s about pills that chemically abort a fetus.

    March 26, 2012
    • Not true. Not true, not true, not true.

      The morning after pill is chemically the same as birth control, and when it’s administered, there is no biological way to prove that conception, or put more specifically, fertilization, had already occurred. You are assuming, without any scientific evidence and as an article of faith, that fertilization had already occurred. I don’t want to be explicit, but fertilization is not instantaneous. If you are perfectly fine with birth control pills but are morally opposed to the morning after pill because you believe in the sanctity of an orgasm, then you’re being blatantly hypocritical (and you’re wrong on the science).

      Joe Aguillard says he would close the entire school because of this. It’s absurd. It’s reckless. It’s a dereliction of his duty. He should resign and, if not, he should be fired. And you folks need to stop acting as if your faith is under attack. You’re underwritten by taxpayers. You folks get money from the rest of us without having to contribute anything in return. No one is attacking your religious beliefs; this is about a citizen’s right to access health care and has nothing to do with your ability to exercise freedom of religion. If the government were to take your non-scientific and faith-based arguments as fact, then it would undermine the liberty we are all guaranteed and violate our First Amendment protection against the state-sponsored endorsement of religion.

      March 27, 2012

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