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Geneva's ACA objection

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Regarding the news story “Geneva College wrangles with Justice Dept. over Obamacare challenge” (Oct. 2 and TribLIVE.com): As a Geneva faculty member, I find it frustrating that the story obscures the key issue at stake in the college's lawsuit.

The offending paragraph is this one: “Geneva College is challenging an Affordable Care Act requirement that it provide employees with health insurance that covers birth control, including so-called morning-after drugs. The college, which is affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, claims the requirement violates its religious rights.”

In the mind of the American public, the words “birth control” mainly denote “contraception.” Neither Geneva College nor its sponsoring denomination has any official objection to the responsible use of artificial contraception. The issue is abortifacient drugs and abortion itself.

The story misleads its readers by citing the issue as “birth control.” Then the story merely hints at the real issue — abortion — by mentioning “morning-after drugs.” That's not responsible journalism.

Geneva College's objection to the Affordable Care Act is narrower in scope than the objection raised by the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic bishops indeed oppose all artificial means of birth control. Reformed Presbyterians and other evangelical Protestants rarely make a similar objection. But the Catholics and evangelical Protestants agree that ending a human life — even one that is still in utero — violates the sanctity of life, the precious gift of a loving God.

Left unchecked, the Affordable Care Act could force Geneva College to become an agent in the taking of innocent human life. That is an intolerable tyranny upon our consciences. That's the real news, not the obscurities that the Trib published.

Byron G. Curtis

The writer is a professor of biblical studies at Geneva College in Beaver Falls.

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