MSNBC.com Falsely Claims ‘Nuns Take Sides as Contraception Fight Heads to the Supreme Court’

Irin Carmon, MSNBC.com’s resident abortion reporter penned a misleading piece on March 18 arguing that nuns are split over the contraception mandate in ObamaCare. Carmon, who doesn’t hide her support for “reproductive rights” chose to deceive her readers about a supposed divide within the Catholic Church.

Carmon began her piece by declaring that “What do nuns have to do with birth control? Plenty, if you’re following the battle over the Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions and the claim that requiring employers to pay for contraceptive coverage violates their religious freedom.”

The MSNBC reporter then goes on to describe a lawsuit being filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor opposing the mandate before incorrectly stating that:

Now, a separate group of nuns is taking the opposite tack, defending birth control coverage in the ACA in an online petition. The head of the National Coalition of American Nuns, Donna Quinn, told Religion Dispatches, “It isn’t ‘faith and freedom’ when reproductive autonomy isn’t extended by the Catholic Church to women. Now we have other Christian religions seeing what the bishops are doing and saying we will do likewise. It isn’t freedom when a woman can be held hostage by the owner of a business.”

Carmon never said who the National Coalition of American Nuns were, but had she bothered to do some actual reporting she would have realized that they are merely a liberal social change organization disguised as members of the Catholic Church. According to Reverend Debra Haffner of the Religious Institute who is helping NCAN coordinate pro-contraception efforts, “When I saw the brave stand these nuns were taking on the mandate, I started to think about what we could do to amplify their voices. So we launched a social media campaign asking people to ‘Stand with the Nuns.”

Haffner went on to declare the following:

We really need to counter the idea that faith is opposed to family planning,” said Haffner, who’s also helping to coordinate a Faith Rally at the Supreme Court on March 25, the day of the oral arguments for the mandate challenges. “All too often the media only shows a Catholic bishop to offer the faith perspective. More than 14 major religious denominations have statements supporting birth control and birth control access. People need to understand that this is not only an affront to women’s moral agency but opens the door to denying a whole range of services, from other kinds of reproductive health care to services to LGBT people.

Nowhere within Carmon’s article does she bother explaining how the National Coalition of American Nuns openly defies church teaching to push a liberal agenda. Instead, the article falsely claimed that there is a split among Catholic nuns regarding the contraception mandate, when in reality, actual nuns who practice the Catholic faith oppose the mandate.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.