Kathryn Pogin, a graduate student in philosophy at Notre Dame, wrote a letter to the president of the University of Notre Dame, arguing that the school should drop its lawsuit against the federal government’s requirement that employers’ health insurance plans cover contraception without copays. When she ran a draft of it past her friends, they moved to turn it into a petition instead. Way to be public philosophers!
Of course, Notre Dame’s position is that they have a Constitutional right to religious freedom. I’d argue that this does not entail a Constitutional right to be an employer that doesn’t provide access to good health insurance coverage, and as a Jezebel blogger points out, “The government is only proposing that employees of a religious organization that is not a house of worship have access to birth control through insurance, not that the religious institution that employs them pay for that birth control itself.”
We’ll post updates as they occur. In the meantime, and excitingly for philosophers, the result of Kathryn Pogin’s letter is that a high-traffic site like HuffPo offers arguments about the Doctrine of Double Effect! More of this, please. More public philosophy. And thanks to all the Notre Dame students involved for moving to make it happen.