Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
Democrats and Republicans are grappling over a pending federal rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women. So are our readers, who posted several comments in defense of birth control. Others said people should step back and think about the implications of this policy.
Here are arguments on each side of the issue.
LiviClaire: "This pits religious freedom for organizations vs. religious freedom for individuals. As an individual you have the right to choose whether or not to get contraceptives according to your religious beliefs. But should an organization that employs you have the right to deny you contraceptive coverage in your personal health plan? This "mandate" is not for individuals (who can always choose) but for organizations that cover individuals. I say let individuals decide if they need contraceptives. Not their employers."
tedkingston: "These are nonprofit entitites, trying to make the world a better place, and the big government bureaucracy is MANDATING that they sacrifice their values in favor of what government elites think is best for individuals. By the way, there are birth defects related to birth control and other problems. Do you really think a drug that can cause birth defects is good for you? Do you really think it's good to mandate charities provide it for their employees, against their organizational values? Epitomizes socialism/fascist liberal movement in this country. That the people can't take care of themselves and the government knows better."
An interesting discussion began about pregnancy prevention techniques.
Mary555: "Two years ago my son attended a weekend retreat for engaged couples put on by the Catholic Church. He and his fiance were the only non-Catholics. One of the classes was about how to prevent pregnancy without using the pill. So the church officially endorses birth control - just that you do not use an effective method. Over the course of the weekend they learned that all of the other couples were engaging in premartial sex and all the women were taking the pill. In other words, the Catholic Church makes everyone liars and even the Catholic Church believes in birth control. Time for the Catholic Church to go to confession and atone for its past sins by allowing couples to practice effective birth control and start dispensing the pill in Third World countries that desperately need population control as part of the ministries to the poor."
But another reader responded and said such courses can be quite beneficial.
jlerari11: "Your statement is intentionally misleading in that you are applying too broad of a definition to the term 'birth control,' and implying that any methods to control birth rates are the same. Do you consider abortion an effective birth control method? How about castration? Effective, I suppose, but hardly the same thing. I am a non-Roman Catholic Christian, but I have attended the classes you are referring to with my wife who is RC. The Catholic Church teaches 'Natural Family Planning,' which is far different than contraception for a number of reasons. The idea is that God does allow for sex for reasons other than procreation. He gave us about 20 days out of a woman's 28-day cycle that you can have sex and almost guarantee no pregnancy. It is surprisingly simple to avoid pregnancy if you and your spouse simply pay attention to details of the woman's cycle. Contraception on the other hand is at best 'convenient' for women in that she can ignore her cycles if not stop them altogether. I'm very surprised that any woman who one day plans to have children is not concerned with what contraception does to your hormones and fertility. Contraception at the worst occasionally causes the spontaneous abortion of new life, disrupts the woman's normal cycles tricking her body into thinking that she is continually pregnant (which in turn leads to moodiness and a decreased sex drive), and increases a woman's chances for breast, liver and cervical cancer."
This reader said people should relax.
catluck: "The most baffling thing about this is the temperature of the rhetoric. We're talking about discounted birth control. Calm down. This is just a minor policy detail, not the rise of the fourth reich."
Another said they need birth control for health reasons.
Meredith Newell: "I was prescribed birth control at the age of 15 (several years before becoming sexually active) to combat chronic ovarian cysts. It also helps lessen severe acne, regulate menstruation and lessen PMS symptoms. Birth control isn't just for birth control, and it needs to be covered by insurance."
One person said there might be psychological issues at play.
bigtimecynic: "Why do conservative men hate the idea of women having sex? Sigmund Freud could write a thousand books on the modern American conservative male."
Some wondered if Viagra would be covered.
clarke: "How simple are people in there thinking. Birth control being offered doesn't mean you have to take it. Birth control pills are used for other female medical conditions other than birth control. No one is saying you have to take them, but they are there if you do. What, pray tell, is the problem? Let me ask: Is Viagra covered for men if it is needed? Don't offer it or cover it, perfect means of birth control. It is just wrong not to cover birth control pills, we don't live in the dark ages. I sure hope Washington does not back down."
Kimip: "Yes it is, and last time I checked the only thing it was used for was getting an erection. Go figure."
But another noted that the issue goes beyond just pills and into legal issues.
CactusThorn: "The issue is not contraception; can an institution that does not believe it is morally correct be forced to pay fot it?"
Still others said they believe a lot of people are uninformed.
judeluke1976: "I'm sure all the people in here have master's and doctor's of Catholic theology and have studied in-depth the Catholic Church's philosophical and moral reasons for opposing the use of artificial contraceptives. This the the issue with comment sections; everyone has an opinion, but few have knowledge of the subject. I bet 99% of the people leaving comments have never even read a church document on the subject. It's like a new student trying to lecture the professor."
Well, what do you think, then? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.
Note: Comments have been turned off overnight, and will be brought back in the morning.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.