rp_steffanie_rivers2011-hand-chin-med-big-150x150.jpg*After all the Tea Party protests and legislative hearings trying to dismantle President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, more than 8 million people have signed up for the government sponsored health insurance plan. That’s one million more than was the goal.

And while this plan doesn’t solve everybody’s healthcare woes, thirty percent of those who enrolled are 18 to 34. These young, healthy adults probably plan to use their insurance to pay for preventative maintenance care. But if that includes the use of birth control, some employers say they don’t want to cover that. So they’re appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to be exempt from the Affordable Healthcare Act’s contraception mandate.

Siting religious reasons, some employers want to take away their employees’ option to use the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices (IUD’s), calling them forms of abortion. In reality, these employers are pro-lifers who want to blame their controlling nature on God. If God doesn’t force anybody to serve him, but gives everyone the choice to serve him, who is a business owner to dictate how employees use their health insurance?

These are the same people who are against welfare, against food stamps and against any form of government support to families with dependent children. They should make up their minds: either be against birth control or against government handouts. It makes no sense to be against both. Pay for birth control to prevent the baby or be prepared to pay for the baby. It’s a prime example of the adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Earlier this month Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners in that state to deny service to gays and lesbians siting their religious beliefs against homosexuality. What about your religious beliefs of love and inclusion instead of disdain and separation? What about as a business owner you’re in business to make money – not to judge how others live their lives? If Brewer would have allowed the bill to proceed, the NFL was prepared to move next year’s Super Bowl out of Arizona causing a loss worth millions of dollars. You can’t legislate people’s hearts, but when you start messing with people’s money oftentimes that leads to more objectivity.

Different religious interpretations are sure to create dueling points of view. And sure, everybody’s not going to get along all the time. But if you want to discriminate against a group of people and try to control how they live, just say it’s because you’re discriminating and controlling. Don’t hide behind God, who gives everybody the choice to serve Him.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Email her at [email protected] for comments, questions and speaking inquiries.