Wyo.Catholic College Opposes Birth Control Mandate

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 The Wyoming Catholic College in Lander is upset about about a mandate by the US Department of Health and Human Services. It would require all non-profit institutions to provide health insurance coverage that covers the cost of birth control for employees.

Imagine being told to go against something you have believed in all of your life.

Well, that's what the Wyoming Catholic College believes the new contraception rule is doing to the Catholic faith.

"It just violates our conscience and it denigrates the religious liberty that we're guaranteed by the United States Constitution," said Father Bob Cook of the Wyoming Catholic College.

The mandate would require all non profit institutions like the Wyoming Catholic College to provide their employees with health insurance that covers the cost of birth control pills, sterilization and abortion inducing drugs.

"Certainly the people know that you can not kill an innocent human and abortion does that," said Father Cook.

For one college student, the rule won't only have an impact on her teachers, but her family as well.

"My father is a family physician, we couldn't believe the government would try and dictate dad would have to do something against his conscience," said Caitlin Milligan, a senior at Wyoming Catholic College.

Father Cook sees this as a way of being forced to take a step that will result in Catholics abandoning their faith.

"Once you say in this particular instance, "I don't have to obey God," then, where does that stop?"

Another student says the rule goes against religious liberties because private institutions should be able to practice their faith any way they want.

"This bill really is the state's attempt to impose a secular religion and basically replace itself for where God should be," said Wyoming Catholic College senior James DeMasi.

So far, the college has written letters to the President asking him not to issue the mandate and now, they are even considering joining lawsuits.

"If there is any way I can promote the resistance of this unjust and I would say evil law, we ought to do so," said Father Cook.

While the Catholic faith it self won't change if and when this mandate goes into effect, students believe it will strengthen Catholic families while they face this challenge.
Or, for those that aren't strong in their faith, it might lead them to believe it's ok for the government to play a role in their religion.