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Cuccinelli: Jail 'Logical' Protest to Contraception Mandate

Virginia's Attorney General says health care act is attack on Catholic Church.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he believes going to jail may be the best way Virginians can challenge President Obama's healthcare mandate for businesses to cover contraception in their health insurance plans. 

"Forcing business owners and businesses to do this is not consistent with our history of preserving religious liberty," said Cuccinelli Wednesday, in an interview with conservative radio talk show host Steve Deace

Cuccinelli, a conservative who is running for governor, said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an attack on the Catholic Church, and that his local bishop told him he was willing to go to jail over the issue. 

"I told him, 'Bishop, don't take this personally - you need to go to jail.' What I mean is that people need to see this play out all the way to its logical conclusion," said Cuccinelli. 

Virginia Del. Charniele Herring (D-46), chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said in a news release: "Virginia women deserve better than an Attorney General who wants employers in this Commonwealth to 'go to jail' rather than comply with the law of the land and offer insurance coverage for contraceptives that experts say are essential to keeping women healthy."

"Ken Cuccinelli's outside-the-mainstream attacks on FDA-approved birth control should have no place in the office of Virginia's top lawyer and certainly not in the Governor's mansion," Herring said. 

What do you think? Should employers be required to pay for contraception in their employees' health care plans? Tell us in the comments box below. 

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Matthew Rathbun January 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM
So the Democratic party feels that Dr. Martin Luther King was wrong in his peaceable approach to opposing a wrong? I recall him spending some time in a Birmingham prison because he strongly believed that the government was in the wrong and needed to change. He was very correct by-the-way, and the time spent in that prison allowed him to begin crafting the Birmingham doctrine which changed the country, if not the world. It's ridiculous to me that politicians will do anything they can to appease Atheists in their right not to believe and at the same time do everything in their power to silence those who do believe. If a business owner has strong and reasonable beliefs, such as the preservation of unborn life, why can the government not honor that? If the employee cannot afford the low expense of contraceptive, than they probably need another job anyway. Let the employee make this decision, and then the employee can choose where to work based on the benefits provided. That's a true "pro-choice" approach. If you wish to provide parents the choice to terminate an innocent life, why can't you give others the choice to preserve it? What I am mostly surprised at is that the Democrats feel that the slow erosion of personal freedoms will be only limited to the conservatives.
rick barasso January 14, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Does anyone know the correct spelling for putz?
Jeff Goodman January 14, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Very well said Mathew.
Anne January 14, 2013 at 02:34 PM
First, let me say that I know a lot of Catholic women and they all use birth control. I know Catholic women and women from many different Christian denominations who have had abortions. I know one young GIRL ( 16 years old at the time) who was forced to have a child from her and rapist who destroyed her life forever. I know another prolife woman who would never have an abortion but did when she had unprotected sex with a young black man and would never give birth to a bi racial child Obama is not shoving something new down the American peoples throats. He is trying to help women so that abortions will not be necessary. But you have the religious right wing extremist who want to make sure women can't get birth control, can't have abortions and are forced to have kids they can't afford to raise. Why is that okay? You know I get a chuckle out of the men on here always up in arms about the birth control but never up in arms over medicare, medicaid and health insurance paying for dirty ole men to get Viagra for not being able to preform. Did you all ever think maybe GOD is telling you all its time to quit being the dirty old men? So stop being hypocrites White American Males you are not in charge of me, I can handle my life and I pay a lot of money for my health insurance and if I want them to pay for BC its none of your business. And Cuccunelli is a nut case and will be soundly defeated in the run for Governor because he is so EXTREME .
Anne January 14, 2013 at 02:34 PM
First, let me say that I know a lot of Catholic women and they all use birth control. I know Catholic women and women from many different Christian denominations who have had abortions. I know one young GIRL ( 16 years old at the time) who was forced to have a child from her and rapist who destroyed her life forever. I know another prolife woman who would never have an abortion but did when she had unprotected sex with a young black man and would never give birth to a bi racial child Obama is not shoving something new down the American peoples throats. He is trying to help women so that abortions will not be necessary. But you have the religious right wing extremist who want to make sure women can't get birth control, can't have abortions and are forced to have kids they can't afford to raise. Why is that okay? You know I get a chuckle out of the men on here always up in arms about the birth control but never up in arms over medicare, medicaid and health insurance paying for dirty ole men to get Viagra for not being able to preform. Did you all ever think maybe GOD is telling you all its time to quit being the dirty old men? So stop being hypocrites White American Males you are not in charge of me, I can handle my life and I pay a lot of money for my health insurance and if I want them to pay for BC its none of your business. And Cuccunelli is a nut case and will be soundly defeated in the run for Governor because he is so EXTREME .
Anne January 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Oddly enough you always say democrats. I am a Christian, believe God gave us the know how to stop unwanted children and wonder why white american males fight us every step of the way. When poverty is gone, when prejudice is gone, when men can no longer walk away from their off spring without a backwards glance then maybe I will agree with you. But right now, men are not held accountable. I have my grandson in my home with my daughter, when she became pregnant after ten years of marriage he said he no longer wanted to be married or have a family. So far this precious little boy is not supported by this middle class white male. So typical in our society. I am 62 and now work two jobs to support the baby until he goes to school. Again a typical thing in our society for men to walk away. So shutup until all of you lazy men get off your butts and take care of what you didn't mind taking your zipper down to make.
Elizabeth Talbot January 14, 2013 at 02:42 PM
The Catholic Church and the attorney general believe that your employer should determine your right to health care, in other words, if your employer doesn't think its "moral", no coverage. I can foresee see many "moral reasons" for denying all sorts of coverage. Under such a system, your employer may refuse to cover treatment for AIDs, or maternal care based on marital status, or the fact your child is gay. If your employer is Jehovah's Witness, he could even deny coverage for blood transfusions. Why is the Catholic church only concerned about its institutional conscience - what about the conscience of individuals, or God forbid, women? Isn't it up to the individual to determine whether he/she wants a medical treatment? Or the Catholic Church does not recognize or respect the others beyond its membership to make their own decisions?
Raconteur January 14, 2013 at 03:37 PM
You have it right, Herring is a putz.
Lindsay January 14, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Leave logic out of this, Ken. It's got nothing to do with your worldview.
Anne January 14, 2013 at 04:55 PM
"Cuccinelli, a conservative who is running for governor, said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an attack on the Catholic Church, " Every single day I read online or in a news paper somewhere a Catholic Priest, Catholic Bishop or Catholic School Teacher is molesting a child. Isn't that against our right to be free from threats from our religious leaders Cuccinelli? Why is it Obama is a threat to them over a "womens health issue" but these Preist are not threats to ALL OF OUR CHILDREN? And they say they are against gay rights, these Preists, THe Bishops, Cardinals and THE Pope himself, yet they have all these grown men raping little boys. Is this okay Cuccinelli? If not, then before you attack my rights, you and your nasty vulgar sick perverted Catholic Preist need to clean your own houses. Get That? I not then shame on you and your ilk
William Richardson January 14, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I believe that Matthew Rathburn has the essence of this. Thinking people (this seems to exclude rick barasso) understand that the real issue here is not so much the details of the requirement, it is the requirement itself. This is a pretty clear violation of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution forbidding the enactment of any ..."law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The requirement to not only provide contraception, but also sterilization and abortifacients. These requirements are directly contrary to Catholic doctrine, and other churches, understanding the full implications, are in support of the Catholic church's position. It is a direct attack on the freedom of religion directed by the Constitution.
dorothy miller January 14, 2013 at 07:45 PM
If conctraception is safe and legal in this country and is an accepted medical proceedire. insurance ompanies must cover it. Otherwise what other safe legal proceedures will they be able to refuse?
Cheryl Darby January 14, 2013 at 09:41 PM
I am a Democrat. I do not presume to know what ALL Republicans believe. Why do you presume to know what ALL Democrats believe? I object to so-called "pro-lifers" who ate really "pro-birthers." Some conservative Republicans are all for preserving life but advocate cutting programs to care for babies after they're born. I have seen horribly abused children. Have you?
1Ronald January 14, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Did this man ever have to swear to uphold the US Constitution as a precondition for holding office? Violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is reason enough to jail the AG. Strange no call to jail the Virginia AG. This would-be Virginia Governor will establish the Catholic Church as the state's official religion. And fye to those who disagree. The women of Virginia, alone, can stop this from happening. And do your research on the businesses. The in-your-face everywhere you look Hobby Lobby is facing stiff government fines and trying to appeal their callus disregard for their own employees by denying them birth control coverage insurance on the basis of their religion. When a business loses its social conscience, it's time they hear from the public big time. Overpopulation and the unwanted is something that affects ALL of us as we become unwitting victims to crime. Cooch, cuckoo, or whatever you want to call him, has every right to plan his family as he sees fit. And, to some, he's gone over-board at it. But don't tell others THEY must live and worship as (he) does.
1Ronald January 14, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Medical student, Stephanie Arnold, is leading a group of 10 women and has developed a URL called coochwatch.com to alert Virginians as to what is coming...what is in store for the Commonwealth and its citizens. The purpose of Cooch Watch is to stop the AG from forcing his will on all Virginians and to hold the AG accountable for his actions.
Matthew Rathbun January 15, 2013 at 01:39 AM
What if a person who elected to have a vasectomy has now changed his mind. The expense for the reversal is prohibitive, but the procedure exists and is safe. It is also legal. Like contraceptives, this is a personal choice and elective treatment. Following the logic outlined in some comments here, why wasn't this procedure made a requirement for the employer to offer? I'm not opposed to either, but I would support exceptions for business or entities that had well established and reasonable religious beliefs against providing these benefits. However, I would not work for a business that went against my belief system. That's real choice.
Anne January 15, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Well, premartial sex is also against the Catholic Churches teaching, yet it hasn't stop one single Priest from raping a child has it? So what does that say about the church? That it only matters if women are involved? That is how I see it, period
Anne January 15, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Matthew, I hate to tell you this but the majority of insurance would pay for the reversal on a male. Not so on a female. Again, your religious call has nothing to do with weather or not a family is protected against unwanted children. Abortion aside, medication for birth control is not illegal in America (nor is abortion). They are asking the insurance not the church to provide the birth control. If you think catholic females don't us BC you are misled. If you think the women work for the catholic church don't use BC you are wrong. You talk makes me think of the Congressman from tennessee who is 100 percent prolife but told his mistress she had to get an abortion. And a medical doctor to boot. The Catholic Church cannot be credible in this crusade against its rights as long as it allows its men to rape women and most especially CHILDREN. When they clean their house, then they can talk about cleaning mine, not a moment before,.
Matthew Rathbun January 15, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Anne, I'm not sure we're debate the same issues. The issue I'm referring to is the right of a party to exercise their freedoms. I don't believe that your anecdotes and the basis for your debate seem better suited for a pro-life, pro-choice debate. I'm speaking of the churches and business owners rights being trampled in the pursuit to appease a voter based founded in the need for entitlements. I respect your opinions and I'm sure your world-view is founded in personal experiences. I simply see it from a different ideology.
1Ronald January 15, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Whatever rights churches now have are open to question. They pay no taxes, refuse to share in an equitable tax burden that would, could include property, income, and real estate. Rather, this has allowed empire building on a massive scale. Yet they have access to our public services funded by taxpayers. Further, the Free Exercise clause is lucky to have survived 9-11 which was, after all, a faith based event. Churches, when engaged in business, cannot expect their beliefs to exempt them from those issues that impact, that is affect all. Likewise, businesses cannot rely on religious belief to exempt their responsibilities to their employees and society at large.
jb1111 January 15, 2013 at 06:13 PM
I am a Christian FIRST. I am a Citizen of the U.S. second. Saving my Soul for Eternity is more important to me than anything on this flawed Earth. Christians have been persecuted before. This will NOT be the last time. I have NO FEAR of going to prison over this Unconstitutional Law.
Matthew Rathbun January 16, 2013 at 02:30 AM
1Ronald, You bring up some good points. I wouldn't be opposed to Church income being taxed and then they can get deductions like any other business when it comes to money given to specific charitable activities like soup kitchens, free clinics, etc... (Of course I would love to have lower taxes and no one gets deductions) Additionally those employed by the church already do pay taxes and churches pay taxes on a majority of things that they buy, along with utility taxes, etc... If churches were not benefiting from a tax exempt status than this will allow them to speak more freely about political issues, without the threat of losing that tax exempt status. Since you feel (and I somewhat agree with the premise) that rights should be tied to the equitable contribution to the tax base, than is it reasonable to say that to vote one must be a tax payer? Reportedly 47% of eligible adults do not pay taxes. If we exempt veterans and retirees, can we then conclude, based on your premise that churches shouldn't have rights without being taxed, that only tax payers should benefit from certain rights?
Elizabeth Talbot January 16, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Conservatives have really muddied this debate by suggesting that women want "free contraception". Women either work for their insurance or pay for the policy. Contraceptives are not a "mere" elective as they are used to treat many gynecological conditions; from personal experience I know that some women are required to use contraceptives in order to obtain prescriptions that can cause birth defects. So an important part of medical coverage for women can now be made "optional" because one particular denomination objects. This is about control, not conscience.
John Bennett January 16, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Why not let this so call democracy of ours work by allowing the people to decide what they want instead of a bunch of knuckle-heads and hypocrites like Cuccinelli? Let the majority decide what they want by placing the national healthcare issue on the ballot for a vote either for or against. It really is amazing how politicians, republicans and democrats alike, pretend to speak for the people when most of them are just trying to get elected or re-elected. Not only do many white males (Dictators) want to dictate to us citizens of the US, their “We know what’s best for everyone philosophy” but further promote their agenda by telling other countries what they can and cannot do. I don't agree with aborting babies and would never abort one of mine, encourage my kids or anyone else to abort theirs. Likewise, I don't believe Iran should have nuclear weapons. But who do these self- righteous Republicans and like-minded talking heads think they are parading themselves around dictating what everybody else should do. Maybe if politicians quit trying to interject their beliefs, ideas in many cases crafted by self-centered world power brokers, into other people lives the world would be a better place to live.
Cheryl Darby January 18, 2013 at 01:45 AM
If you are a Christian, you should also understand you are commanded to love everyone and respect different beliefs. Jewish people, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and others have a right to their beliefs as well. Who gave you the right to sit in judgment of others? If you think you are being persecuted in this country and your religious freedom has bern taken away, go to a foreign country where you are imprisoned or murdered just for practicing your religion. This country was founded on religious liberty. You and others like you who believe your religion is right and everyone else is wrong are leading us down a very dangerous path of intolerance and anarchy.
Cheryl Darby January 18, 2013 at 01:51 AM
If Cuccinelli, as AG, advocates ignoring the law, what is he doing in that office. He has made it clear he doesn't Virginia will not follow any law it disagrees with. Is that not anarchy?

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